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Rowing Solo Across Atlantic While Recovering from Brain Surgery: World Record Holder Kiko Matthews

Follow world record holder Kiko Matthews on a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean: 3,000 nautical miles in 49 Days 7 hours and 15 minutes. 200 women have completed this challenge, that's it. Only 18 have done it solo. Kiko is the fastest ... and before she started training she hadn't even set foot in a row boat before.

But that's not the most remarkable thing about this story. Eight months before she was due to set out Kiko was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease a rare, and often fatal, form of brain cancer. The doctors found a tumour on her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. It was life or death. Most of us would have given up at that point. Not Kiko. She received emergency brain surgery and just a few weeks later got straight back to training.

This is a story of an incredible adventure: She faced huge storms, rogue waves that nearly capsized the boat. She paddled with whales, dolphins and sharks. She saw the ocean light up like stars with phosphorescence and felt what it meant to be truly alone and humbled, in the vastness of the ocean.

But it's also a story about courage, about mental strength and resilience and her story will inspire you to face your own challenge, to follow your own dream, row your own ocean, whatever that may be.

If you enjoy this episode, please connect with Kiko she has a book out about her experience – Kiko: How to break the Atlantic rowing record after brain surgery. Find it at Kiko: How to Break the Atlantic Rowing Record after Brain Surgery and connect with her on social media at @kikomatthews – that’s with two Ts so watch out – and her website is

Thank you also to Room Steals ( for sponsoring this episode. This is the ultimate hotel hack and if you love travel you are going to want to check this out. Room Steals is a subscription service that offers you wholesale prices of more than 600,000 hotel rooms around the world. On average you will save 30% off of what the major online booking sites will charge you and their Google Chrome extension lets you check out the prices before you buy. The subscription costs $95 per year, but you're going to save loads more than that. Head over to Room Steals ( and type in the coupon code 'armchair' for 20% off the listed price.

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