Frank Rothwell has been impacted heavily by Alzheimer’s. The 73-year-old is taking on the ocean to do something about it.
Rothwell is about to make his second row across the Atlantic to benefit the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. He already accomplished the feat back in 2021, when Guinness World Records recognized him as the oldest person to row across the Atlantic. He also raised more than £1.1 million in the process.
Now, as he’s preparing for his second fundraiser, he says, “I’m back and ready to row across the Atlantic Ocean solo – for the second time! This time, I’m 73-years-old and even busier than I was before, having become the proud owner of Oldham Athletic A.F.C. But I’m a big believer in living life with no regrets, which is why I want to race again this year.”
His goal? Raising another £1 million for Alzheimer’s Research UK. He’ll go after it as part of the World’s Toughest Row in December. His boat is named ‘For a Cure’, a reflection of the organization’s goal to cure the disease, which as of 2021, impacted around 900,000 people living in the United Kingdom. That number is expected to climb to nearly 1.6 million by 2040.
Rothwell knows too well the impact of the disease. When he finished his first journey, he learned that his brother-in-law Roger had just died from Alzheimer’s at the age of 62. Earlier this year, the disease also took his best friend. He hopes that with his effort, we’ll get closer to a world where loved ones don’t have to deal with stories like this.
He says, “I’m not frightened of the challenge ahead, but I am frightened of Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen the heartbreak that it causes. Sadly, I’ve lost two people that I love to dementia, my brother-in-law, Roger, during my 2020 race, and my best friend only a couple of months ago. It’s devastating. I don’t want others to go through it, so I am determined to help Alzheimer’s Research UK change lives. I’ve renamed my boat ‘For A Cure,’ because that’s what I’m racing for.”Whizzco