Going the distance for fitness and charity

Published on Department of Defence (author), SGT Stephen Tilley (author)

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Cycling

Commander Ian Young on completion of day three of his charity bike ride, helping to raise funds into finding a cure for Vanishing White Matter Disease.  (photo: SGT Stephen Tilley)
Commander Ian Young on completion of day three of his charity bike ride, helping to raise funds into finding a cure for Vanishing White Matter Disease.
Commander Ian Young is a Navy Orthopaedic Surgeon with the Maritime Operational Health Unit in Sydney, but he still finds the time to keep fit and channel his training to a higher purpose.
 
His latest effort has been to ride from Melbourne to Wollongong to help fund research to find a cure for Vanishing White Matter Disease.
 
Vanishing White Matter disease, also known as Childhood Ataxia with Central Nervous System Hypomyelination, is a devastating condition that destroys myelin, the brain's white matter.
 
As a way of maintaining his fitness, he undertakes regular aerobic training and occasionally becomes involved in long-distance events for charity and as a personal challenge.
 
In 2015 Commander Young participated in the ANZAC Ultra Marathon with good mate and fellow Navy officer Lieutenant Commander Ben Crowther.
The officers ran 150 kilometres and each raised more than $9,000 for Legacy, but this year he’s on wheels and cracking the 1,000-kilometre mark.
 
Becoming aware of the fundraising ride from friends, Commander Young said even with his fitness he was a little worried about the distances involved.
 
“I was concerned about my ability to train effectively as I was involved with Exercises SEA RAIDER and TALISMAN SABER, but after attending a fundraising dinner I decided to commit to the cause,” he said.
 
“As a parent of four children and a doctor, I felt compelled.”
 
Commander Young and 21 other riders, joined Grant Saxby, whose daughter Chloe has Vanishing White Matter Disease, on the 1,000-kilometre ride over six days.
 
As a Surgeon in the Medical Specialist Program, Commander Young works full-time at Frankston Hospital under a Clinical Placement Deed when not deployed.
 
As for anyone in the permanent force it is still expected that individual fitness requirements are met.
 
“Distance events, especially those raising funds for worthwhile causes, are a goal and a challenge that makes the training even more worthwhile,” he said.
 
For anyone interested in learning more about Chloe’s story or supporting Commander Young’s fundraising effort can visit https://www.mycause.com.au/page/159290/ian-young.