Simplyhealth funds retired Army Colonel living with Parkinson’s Disease on solo journey across Africa


Guy Deacon, a retired British Army Colonel with Parkinson’s Disease, is currently undertaking a solo drive to Cape Town to raise awareness of the realities of living with Parkinson’s and to raise funds for the charity Cure Parkinson’s.

The journey is an undertaking like no other – the 12,000-mile drive from the UK to Cape Town would be an extraordinary quest for anyone, but for Guy who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 11 years ago, this is an incredible challenge.  

Simplyhealth, the UK’s leading provider of health financing solutions, is proud to be supporting Guy on his venture. Guy’s journey began in 2019 where he reached the halfway point of Sierra Leone but it was cut short due to the pandemic. Simplyhealthis providing vital funding to Guy, ensuring he has the resources required to complete his mission and travel the remaining 7,000 miles.

Simplyhealth is deeply purpose-driven and has a clear mission for its charitable giving to help the development and adoption of preventative and predictive medicine. Cure Parkinson’s is very much aligned to our mission.

Guy experiences bradykinesia, (slowness and stiffness of movement), which can make driving difficult – and with his facial expression frozen from the disease, communication can be increasingly challenging. Guy said: “Living with Parkinson’s means there are many things I cannot do as well as before and routine matters, like driving, become more difficult.

The first part of the journey was significantly more challenging than I had foreseen – but I won’t let Parkinson’s stop me from living a full life – so I am thankful to Simplyhealth for giving me the opportunity to complete my journey this year.”  

Dr Sneh Khemka, Chief Executive Officer at Simplyhealth

Simplyhealth is committed to improving access to healthcare for all in the UK. Guy is undertaking this extraordinary challenge across Africa to raise awareness of this disease and we are so proud to support him. Guy’s efforts will be a huge help to Cure Parkinson’s – the charity he is an ambassador of – to support its invaluable work to find new treatments that change the way Parkinson’s progresses and transform the lives of people living with it.

Dr Sneh Khemka, Chief Executive Officer at Simplyhealth

Guy’s route will take him from Sierra Leone to Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Namibia, and finally to South Africa.

Guy is currently raising funds to support the making of a documentary whilst on his travels. To support Guy’s film or find out more, visit


Notes to Editors:

Simplyhealth PR representative:

About Cure Parkinson’s

We’re here for the cure. Cure Parkinson’s is working with urgency to find new treatments to slow, stop and reverse Parkinson’s. Our funding and innovation has redefined the field of Parkinson’s research, enabling the world’s leading researchers to prioritise the next generation of drugs for clinical trial. Together we will conquer Parkinson’s. Further information at

About Simplyhealth

Since 1872, we’ve been helping improve access to healthcare for all in the UK. Our health plans make sure individuals, families and employees can easily access virtual and in-person health and wellbeing services to stay healthy by claiming costs back on dental treatments, visits to the optician, complementary therapies and much more.

Today we’re the UK’s leading provider of health financing solutions, with almost 1000 colleagues serving 2.3 million customers. We don’t have shareholders, so we’re led by our purpose of improving access to healthcare, for all in the UK. We’re passionate about using our voice in public health affairs and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality – each year we commit to giving 10% of pre-tax profits to a range of community causes. And we ensure our business takes care of the planet too, achieving Carbon Neutral + status in 2021.

To find out more, visit

About the film:

The film seeks to: raise awareness about the mental and physical effects of Parkinson’s disease, dispel misinformation and tackle the stigmatisation of those living with Parkinson’s in Africa and to recognise the work being done by dedicated health professionals who are addressing the condition. The project is also supported by Parkinson's Africa:


Social media: