A STRONG-willed dad with Parkinson’s climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest twice by hiking up and down (and up and down) the staircase at his Oxfordshire home to raise funds for charity.

Alex Flynn, 48, from Wantage, followed in the footsteps of a growing list of people taking on ambitious challenges during self-isolation, such as marathons in gardens, to promote Parkinson’s UK's emergency appeal.

The father-of-three walked a total of 26.2 miles by taking the stairs 3,516 times.

With 69,226ft of ascent, he ended up walking 2.3 times the height of Mount Everest.

The adventurer covered the vertical distance in just over a week for up to 12 hours a day, with breaks for sleep and meals.

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The enormous challenge, which might seem impossible for many, was made even more strenuous for him as a result of his dystonia – a symptom of Parkinson’s disease that causes repetitive and involuntary muscle contractions.

This meant that the 48-year-old was also forced to guide his right leg up most of the stairs.

The £3,166 that Mr Flynn has raised from the challenge will go towards an emergency appeal launched by Parkinson’s UK last month, which must raise £95,000 every week to deliver critical support to people affected by the illness.

Mr Flynn said: “With my Parkinson’s, this challenge was always going to be exceptionally difficult – the risks were very real for me.

“It was an incredibly tough experience but I was determined to get through it no matter what.

“It is important to me to give back at a time when many people with Parkinson’s all around the UK are relying on the support that the organisation provides.

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“I hope that I have inspired others to take on their own challenges, however big or small, to make sure their services can continue.”

The climber was diagnosed with Parkinson’s – a progressive neurological condition for which there is currently no cure – ten years ago.

However his love of endurance challenges has seen him raise thousands of pounds for Parkinson’s charities.

He has taken part in marathons, triathlons and ultra-marathons all around the world, and his ultimate goal is to raise £1m towards finding a cure for the condition.

Katherine Crawford, director of services at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are so grateful to Alex for taking on this incredible feat of endurance for Parkinson’s UK – his determination is truly inspiring.

“We are adapting to the current crisis by boosting our helpline capacity, building the online Parkinson’s community and making sure people who normally receive face-to-face support continue to do so in new ways.”