Daring explorer with Parkinson’s disease to tackle 3,000 mile boat race

An explorer who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008 is preparing to embark on his toughest challenge yet – determined that he won’t let the condition hold him back.

Alex Flynn, 44, is a die-hard outdoor sports enthusiast.

Since his diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s disease at an unusually young age, Mr Flynn has taken on increasingly difficult cross country races, mountain crossings and extreme challenges – all to help raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and to fund Parkinson’s research.

“When you’re young, having Parkinson’s brings a whole different set of problems,” says Mr Flynn.

“It’s much rarer in those under 40. It affects your movement, and therefore your ability to work. The impact it has upon the lives of young sufferers isn’t highlighted enough.”

Over the past seven years, Mr Flynn has participated in events that have taken him across Europe, through America; into the Amazon jungle and across the Sahara desert.

Mr Flynn has kayaked, climbed and ran practically all over the world.

The daring explorer is now preparing to tackle a 3,000 mile boat race across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of his new charity, Spotlight YOPD, which aims to fund research for, and promote awareness of, young onset Parkinson’s disease.