Ubank BDM runs 100km for Dementia Australia

Mortgage industry bands together to battle illness

Ubank BDM runs 100km for Dementia Australia


By Ryan Johnson

Josh Duncan, a business development manager at Ubank, recently completed a 100km run in one day to raise money for Dementia Australia. He was inspired to take on this challenge after his mother was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of 61.

Duncan (pictured ) set out on Feb. 18 from Caddies Creek Reserve, nestled in the scenic north-western hills of Sydney. Alongside a dedicated team of supporters, he embarked on a gruelling trek, conquering the winding 10km path 10 times.

The journey was far from easy. The unforgiving Australian summer sun blazed, pushing temperatures above 30 degrees, while the humidity clung heavy in the air, mirroring the weight of the challenge Duncan had undertaken.

Yet, with each step, he persevered, fuelled by the support of his entourage and the unwavering desire to help those battling dementia.

After 13 gruelling hours, Duncan crossed the finish line, achieving a remarkable feat of both physical and mental endurance. In doing so, he raised more than $8,000 for Dementia Australia, exceeding his initial goal of $2,000.

“It’s hard to put into words what I went through and the amazing support I received from people from all walks of life,” said Duncan, who was also named a 5-Star BDM by Australian Broker last year.

“When I finished, I was super emotional, sense of pride and gratitude for the people around me and who supported the fundraiser and joined me on the day.”

The cruel disease: Mourning people still alive

A degenerative brain disease with no known cure, dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, according to Dementia Australia.

In 2024, it is estimated there are more than 421,000 Australians living with all forms of dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to more than 812,500 by 2054.

Duncan's family has been deeply impacted by the disease, and he wanted to generate funding to support those living with dementia.

“I want to raise more awareness around the disease and be able to contribute to the eventual cure,” Duncan said. “I want to dedicate this to my mum and also to the main caregiver, my dad, who has fought for her health for the past six years.

“Dementia is a cruel disease, one where you mourn the person who is still alive as they are not themselves anymore, and anything I can raise will help. If I can help one person this will be a win.”

While he has already exceeded his expectations, Duncan has set a new target, aiming to reach $10,000, and is still accepting donations.

Why the mortgage industry should get involved

Duncan expressed his gratitude to the people who supported him throughout the run, including four industry colleagues who ran alongside him at different points: Duncan’s colleague Timothy McKenzie, Resimac’s Rodney Cottam, Bridgit’s Nik Thurgood, and James Brett.

“You guys have no idea how much that meant to me and coming down not only to support me but the cause and pushing me through,” Duncan said.

Brett, a mortgage broker from Truly Finance, explained why he supported Duncan's cause.

“I know how difficult the challenge is, and that having running mates makes a difference when there’s a huge feat ahead of you,” Brett said.

“I will always encourage and support brokers and BDMs to give as much as they can – we are in a very fortunate position to have the ability to do so.”

For those wishing to show support, Duncan urged industry leaders to consider donating to his Dementia Australia page: Run for Jenny.

“You can even host your own event like I did or run in one of Dementia Australia’s upcoming marathons,” he said. “There’s plenty of ways to get involved, give back, and support a worthy cause.”

What do you think of Josh Duncan’s effort? Comment below.

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