PAN-AMERICAN HIGHWAY 2018
"A record breaking attempt to end the mental health stigma"
The Pan-American Highway is an arduous journey of over 14,000 miles across rugged terrain, mountains, snow caps, impassable roads, unpredictable wildlife and security challenges. Dean will pass through some of the most dangerous places in the world in an attempt to break a world record and end the stigma surrounding mental health.
"14,000 miles to cycle in less than
117 days and 5 hours"
This is tough enough already for a man who has just turned 40, has never cycled more than a few miles and is still suffering the effects of his devastating injury, but he also has to complete his challenge in under 117 days to break the record. Dean will have to muster up all his physical and mental strength to crack this challenge but he will get all the motivation he needs from all those people, children and adults, who are suffering alone in the same dark place he once found himself in.
"Physically it's going to be hard,
psychologically it's going to be harder"
T R A C K D E A N
"The biggest challenge of my life"
Dean was born in Swindon into a family of military tradition. While Dean had ideas of spending his life surfing, his father had something else planned for him. At 17 Dean was marched to the Army careers office but told he would never make it through basic training. Dean went on to prove everyone wrong, he signed up for the Royal Engineers in 1995 and within 10 years he was ready to take on the challenge of becoming part of the elite selection of UK Special Forces Soldiers. In 2006 Dean went on to pass the arduous selection process and became one of the first Army soldiers to join the Special Boat Service.
In 2010 Dean received a devastating blow when a parachuting accident left him in need of reconstructive surgery to his knee. Unable to take part in even the most basic of tasks, Dean was left physically and psychologically like a ‘broken soldier’.
He left the military in 2011 and went onto to have a highly distinguished career in the private security sector and also starred in the 2017 Channel 4 show ‘Spies’. Dean has been at the spearhead of the world’s most hostile environments, he was soon identified as the guy who went places when others wouldn’t.
"I want to raise awareness and lift the stigma that accompanies mental health"
WHY HEADS TOGETHER
Dean took a step back from the security industry after seeing the effect his dangerous career was having on his family. His wife, pregnant with their second child, and 5 year old daughter had become all to accustomed to not know if daddy would be coming home. He decided he wanted to take on a new challenge, a challenge that would see him pushed both physically and mentally.
In a conversation with Prince Harry, Dean was introduced to Heads Together, a mental health campaign driven by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry himself. Dean has suffered his own share of issues both within himself and people around him. He has seen first hand the devastating effects of Post Traumatic Stress, as well as having close connections with many other mental health problems. The common factor being the stigma surrounding them.
Dean knew to make a change he had to do something big.