John Alexander lives life fully. As a man living with Parkinson’s he wouldn’t be faulted for taking it easy –  but that wouldn’t be John. Since being diagnosed he’s been a tireless advocate for our Parkinson’s community. Leading by example, John also ‘walks his talk’ finding, like me, that through a daily regimen of physical activities he’s better able to control his symptoms. Beyond that, John exudes a positivity and hopefulness to our ‘tribe’ which is infectious. Thank you John Alexander for your contribution to our cause – your good spirit lives large indeed!

-Davis Phinney

Olympic Bronze Medalist, First American to win a stage of the Tour de France, winningest American cyclist of all time
Founder, Davis Phinney Foundation

The first thing you notice about John Alexander is his welcoming smile. He is genuinely interested in getting to know you. He is also committed to sharing what he has learned about Parkinson’s with others. While PD can be a challenging journey for anyone, John helps you realize that there is Hope by simply choosing to stay in the race.

-Tim Hague, Sr.

Winner, The Amazing Race Canada Season #1
Professional Speaker & Parkinson’s Advocate

In the 20 years that I have known John Alexander, he has always been one of the great ambassadors of the restaurant industry. And yet, that’s not the main reason I consider him a rock star. Although John daily and courageously takes on Parkinson’s, he has “outfoxed” the disease with his infectious positivity…and inspired all of us who witnessed him cycle over 3,500 miles and complete two triathlons. The guy is amazing and I am proud to consider him a dear friend. I defy anyone to read “The Journey Begins with 1,000 Miles” and not be inspired.

-Jim Knight

Keynote Speaker & Author, Culture That Rocks

No one we know has embraced life with Parkinson’s with more spirit and positivity than John Alexander. We are honored to call him a friend and hope that his life inspires others to make every day count.

-Betty Smith

Retired University Professor (University of South Dakota)

-Larry Smith

PD Warrior, Retired Police Captain, Founder of Mr. Smith’s Bakery, Star of the documentary film, “Ride With Larry” (available on

Whether it’s cycling thousands of miles, climbing a new mountain or counseling a Parkinson patient or family member, John Alexander makes lives better everyday.

-Michael S. Okun, M.D.

Adelaide Lackner Professor and Chairman of Neurology
University of Florida Center for Movement Disorder and Neurorestoration

For Father’s Day, 2017, my daughter-in-law, Jessica, gave me a keychain with the phrase “Pedal On” attached to it, as a reminder or part of my motto, “Keep Calm, Hug Often, and Pedal On.” The company that she ordered it through used her statement below as part of its e-marketing campaign for Father’s Day. Such kind words from a lovely lady –

“He has Parkinson’s Disease.  Through biking, he’s found a way to manage the symptoms and live a healthy lifestyle.  He’s an exceptional father, grandfather, husband, and an example of how all men should live life.”

-Jessica Kirby Alexander

Daughter-in-law (Married to my son, Brian Alexander)
Jessica is half of the Kirby Howell writing team, authors of three Young Adult books –  the Autumn Series, including Autumn in the City of Angels.

I’ve had the privilege of working side-by-side with John Alexander on many Industry & Volunteer events, I’ve traveled with him, stayed in his family home & served on Not-For-Profit Boards with him.

When my dear Father-in-Law, Dan Gray was losing his battle with Parkinson’s Disease, John supported our family by dedicating to ride 500 miles on his bicycle in Dan’s honor.

Amazing, Generous, Vibrant, and Encouraging are just a few of the superlatives I’ve heard others say about my friend John Alexander.

Here are some of mine:

Passionate & Positive
Kilt, yes he wears full kilts, as a tribute to his Scottish Heritage!
Involved in worthwhile programs
Nice…one of the Nicest people on the planet.
Servant Leader
Overcoming Obstacles

-Mike Amos

Past President & Lifetime Member
CHART (Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers)

1.5 million people in the U.S. have PD and most, myself included, are like John. We’re normal people. We’re middle aged, a little on the heavy side, we have family that needs us and we’re just trying our best to push the limits that this stupid disease has put on us. What makes John’s experience so special is that John is not a super hero. He’s not climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. He doesn’t run marathons. He’s not on Dancing with the Stars. His way of living with Parkinson’s disease is something anyone can do – if they are motivated to do it. And that’s what his story does – it motivates you to step a little outside your comfort zone and to live fully with PD. What John does is live. He smiles. He travels. He talks to people about the challenges. And he never gives up or gives in.  Too many books are about PWP who do things I wouldn’t do even if I didn’t have Parkinson’s. Here is a book about someone doing what anyone could – and should – do; live, love and laugh through the good times and the bad.

-Jill Ater

Person with Parkinson’s
Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador

I remember John’s “first mile” and then later on accompanying him on his epic ascent and descent of Ben A’an. Through Johns friendship, openness and motivation we have maintained our “Bond across the Pond.”

-Roger H. Barr

Munro Compleatist & Long Distance Walker
Airdrie, Scotland

John’s approach to his Parkinson’s Disease is inspirational. I have marveled at his positive attitude, commitment to exercise, and embrace of new technologies. His eagerness to share his efforts and experiments with other PD patients has helped scores of people deal proactively with the disease. His book will enlighten countless others to improve their outlook and their lives.

-Rita Bornstein, Ph.D.

President Emerita
Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

John’s tremor is on his left side, while mine is on my right. We joke that we can give each other a back massage when we stand next to each other for photos. Today, with his newly fitted DBS, I may have lost my free massage.  Don’t worry John, I’ve still got your back! Maintaining a sense of humor and positive outlook are keys to outrunning Parkinson’s. It’s my pleasure to share the PD journey with people like John.

-Jimmy Choi

PD Hero
Team Fox VIP
American Ninja Warrior

John is an extremely kind, thoughtful and caring man, whom I first met in 2012.  He’s been a tremendous influence on and inspiration for the Parkinson’s community, and he has been a fantastic ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation.  John is a connector in the community; putting people together and helping magic happen.  John started this journey by cycling a thousand miles a year in his quest to live well with Parkinson’s and continues to live this message each day.

-Polly Dawkins

Executive Director, Davis Phinney Foundation

John Alexander approaches life with Parkinson’s with a can do attitude. What can I do rather than what can’t I do. He inspires those around him with a zest for life and never give up attitude. I’m a proud to call John a friend and fellow Parkinson’s warrior.

-Cidney Pratt Donahoo

Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador

I have a great appreciation for the value of responsibility and one of my favorite quotes is by George L. Bell. “You can pretend to care but you cannot pretend to show up”. John Alexander is someone who shows up. He is relentless in his shared knowledge and participation in the Parkinson’s community but just as impressive is his authentic support for others. He is a benchmark for my journey through life.

-Mark Egeland

General Manager/Partner Catrike

John Alexander is a hero to me in a very personal way. My grandfather who was the love of my life had Parkinson’s. I was so moved when I shared his story with John, he organized a Grandparents Ride fundraiser and dedicated 500 miles in honor of my grandpa. In my grandfather’s final days I shared with him a video of John speaking when he talked about the ride and my grandfather. My grandfather who was very weak and ill at the time was so touched, he smiled and teared up. I’ll never forget that or how much John’s advocacy helped educate and inspire me, and how his big heart made my grandfather feel comfort, love and support. We all hope to move, touch and change lives like John does.

-Amanda Hite

Co-Founder & CEO
Be The Change Revolutions

John Alexander is one of those very few people you meet in your lifetime that simply lives an extraordinary life. But there is nothing simple about John! He has successfully turned the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease on its ear by cycling 3,500 miles, climbing a mountain in Scotland, and completing two triathlons. His ordinary, yet extraordinary, story inspires us all to live our lives to the fullest each and every day.

-Lisa Marovec

Senior Director of Marketing
CHART – Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers

One symptom that affects some people with Parkinson’s is known as “Facial Masking,” in which you have little to no expression and you look dead inside. This is one symptom of PD which John Alexander has never experienced since he is “Lit Within.” While some people struggle with their shake, John continues to live in spite of it. It is people like John I look up to and smile, because through him I’ve learned life goes on!

-Allie Topperwein

Nonprofit Founder, American Ninja Warrior and Parkinson’s Disease Fighter

John Alexander is one of the most energetic, inspiring, positive, and persevering human beings you’ll ever find. His journey with Parkinson’s has not been an easy one, but his courageous determination and optimistic attitude towards life have given him a tremendous hope that anything you want to achieve in life is possible.

-Ricardo Villarreal

Co-Director of “Ride with Larry”

As you read this book, take the ride, relax…now feel the wind in your face and enjoy this adventure along with John, who has been an inspiration to so many in the Parkinson community and beyond!

-Marti Miller, President

Parkinson Association of Central Florida