A 70-year-old grandfather has successfully paddled a boat singlehandedly across the entire Atlantic Ocean.
As part of a challenge to raise funds for research into Alzheimer’s treatments, Frank Rothwell dedicated the extreme feat to his brother-in-law Roger, who succumbed to the disease during Frank’s crossing.
Just over £ 1 million ($ 1.39 million) was raised by nearly 10,000 different donors, including doubling the first £ 500,000 ($ 695,000) from the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation.
Rothwell required 18 months of hard training, and the entire line took grueling weeks to travel from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12 to the finish line 3,000 miles away in Antigua on February 6.
“I like the challenge!” explains Frank in his fundraising site. “In 2017, I spent five weeks on a desert island for the Channel 4 show, The island with Bear Grylls. Before that I was only 10th person to circumnavigate North and South America. “
in a statement, Hilary Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UKSaid: “We are honored to have such incredible support from Frank. His courage and determination helped him complete his epic challenge and raise £ 1 million for dementia research. “
“This incredible amount will be of great benefit to the pioneering research we carry out here at Alzheimer’s Research UK, as we continue our mission to provide life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia.”
Crossing the finish line was an euphoric and emotional moment for Rothwell. He said, “I’m on cloud nine! I left in December wanting to raise £ 1 million for Alzheimer’s Research UK, but never thought I would actually make it. The challenge was incredibly difficult at times, with rough seas, huge waves, and missing my wife, Judith. But as tiring as it was, it was worth it. “
“Having received hundreds of messages from people like me who have witnessed the anguish of dementia, I am proud to have raised such an incredible amount in honor of Roger and all others who have experienced the devastation it causes.”
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