Australian Man with Corticobasal Syndrome Hikes to Cape York 

Matt Follows, supported by a team of friends and loved ones, managed to hike to the northernmost point of Australia despite Follows's corticobasal syndrome diagnosis

An Australian man with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) made it to Cape York, the northernmost tip of Australia, with the help of friends and his significant other.  

Matt Follows, like many with CBS, struggles to walk and talk, but didn’t let the difficulties stop him from making the attempt. Follows’s partner Rebecca Deed told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he had set his sights on Cape York after being diagnosed, and that the couple had been planning the hike for a year.  

The journey to Cape York had its share of obstacles for Follows, Deed, and their friends.  

One of the six vehicles carrying the hiking group to Cape York broke down. Later, a member of the group broke their leg and had to be evacuated by helicopter.  

Once the group had reached the Cape, they had to improvise a makeshift litter to help carry Follows across the remaining distance. Two police officers on patrol in the area jumped in to aid the group in carrying Follows across the difficult, rocky terrain to the tip of Cape York.  

“We sort of had to re-jig everything and think about how we were going to navigate the whole trip,” Deed said of the journey. “To have the group of people with us that we had and to come up with such an amazing chariot-style arrangement to get him over the rocks to the tip was just comical, it was amazing; it was one of those things we’ll never forget.” 

CBS belongs to the group of FTD disorders that primarily affect areas of the brain associated with movement. For a more in-depth look at CBS, read the winter 2021 edition of Partners in FTD Care 

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