Life with Parkinson’s is unpredictable. The symptoms and the pace of the disease vary wildly from one individual to another. The rules are ‘there are no rules’. In his 10 Million Metres challenge Alex Flynn, who has Young Onset Parkinson’s, proved that exercise helps alleviate the symptoms. He also covered an incredible distance over some of the globe’s most challenging terrain.
Many people with Parkinson’s claim to still be able to excel at certain sports. Some, who struggle to walk, can pull on a pair of trainers and run like the wind or cycle as if they were born in the saddle. Michael J Fox is still more than competent on the ice – as show here.
Other people’s perception of how PD will impact on someone’s life is one of the most damaging factors for those with young Parkinson’s. Surely, those with the condition are best able to judge what they are able to do.
Alex’s next challenge sees him and friend Darren Taylor take to the Pacific – in a British-built, state-of-the-art rowing boat. The sister vessel won the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, leaving the competition in the memory of its wake. Alex will again be the engine at the back. Six years after diagnosis, Parkinson’s has a huge impact on his life, but his ability to row is unhindered. He rows like a machine.
Darren is similarly a force to be reckoned with. He has a history at sea, an understanding and respect for the ocean and, very possibly, saltwater running through his veins.
The only British pair in the race, with an incredible team behind them, Alex and Darren have every belief that they will win. For the purposes of what they aim to achieve, awareness and ultimately a cure for PD, only a win will do.
The publicity machine is now getting into gear. What the pair desperately need is hard cash and supportive sponsors to cover the costs. Alex has proven his worth over the last four years – covering 10 Million Metres; that’s an incredible 6214 miles.
This Pacific Row is a world record attempt – but Alex’s participation will make it truly incredible. A unique event, demanding column inches in the press, provoking research in the lab… and hopefully finding a cure for many people of all ages with the condition. Along the way Alex has been proving the benefits of exercise in alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s. A unique feel good story…. What savvy corporate sponsor wouldn’t want to be associated with that?
This is an amazing opportunity, a potentially world record winning pair delivering glory and a back story of hope as the search for a Parkinson’s cure is finally showing real signs of progress.
The Bigger Picture: We Need You…
Parkinson’s (and Young Parkinson’s especially) struggles to get media coverage and therefore public awareness. Many of those given the diagnosis shy away from the spotlight; often they only tell very close friends and family.In spite of his Parkinson’s, and for as long as he’s able, Alex will be challenging himself and the disease. He’ll keep moving to raise the funds and awareness so desperately needed in order to bring about a cure.If that cure doesn’t happen in his lifetime – he’s only 42 – his legacy will be the steps (or strokes) he literally took towards making it happen.
Photo: © Adrian Scarbrough Photography