in the UK
It all started with a coffee cup. In 2008, I was training for the following year's Marathon des Sables; a 250km five day stage race across the Sahara desert. The particular morning in question involved the same routine - arrive at work, porridge with honey and black coffee. Except that changed when I went to pick up my coffee cup. My hand ever so slightly shook. I watched the tremor and decided that I must have been overdoing it. However, no matter what I did each day the tremor in my right hand would return. So finally I put pride aside and sought help. After being passed from one specialist to another I was faced with a rather grim diagnosis. I was told that I had Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease. That means 'Parkinson's disease of unknown origin. This book tells of my fight against a currently incurable disease and the adventures and events surrounding my attempt to cover the equivalent of 10 million metres (6,200 miles/10,000km) to raise awareness of and funds for vital research into Parkinson's disease. In doing so I've broken bones, got lost in deserts, survived the Amazon, climbed mountains, ran from London to Rome, met the pope, traversed the entire United States, became a film producer and changed my world. My incredible story tells of the high and lows, of coping with diagnosis, the determination in the face of perpetual change, of friendship and relationships, the characters and people I've met on route and the immense strain and pressure I put on my family, my body and mind to complete the challenge across some of the earth's toughest terrain. My aim is in some way to be an inspiration and give strength to others who are faced with the same diagnosis. Alex Flynn has appeared twice on the BBC One Show, BBC South Today and a number of times on BBC Radio Oxford. His next challenge in June 2014 is to row the Pacific with his childhood friend, the only British pair in the race and the only one suffering from Parkinson's Disease. The Times will be following him on his journey.
Rudling House Publishing Limited
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