Matt is attempting to swim the 21 miles across the English Channel this year! Three times as many people have climbed Everest than swum the Channel, and just getting across is considered one of the pinnacles of open water swimming. It has to be completed in the same vein as the first crossing in 1875 – swimming trunks, one swim hat and goggles; that’s it, nothing that retains heat, so coping with the cold is one of the challenges, plus swimming for 11-16+ hours of course, depending on the conditions and his speed!
Why is he doing this? Ambition stretching back ten years, but also to raise awareness and funds for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that both his children suffer from. Amy is 24 and has EDS-HT that means she is largely wheelchair bound as can only take a few steps with crutches. It also adversely affects her eyes, teeth, bladder (she is fitted with a catheter) and she frequently dislocates joints anywhere on her body. Amy also has regular seizures that are very likely to be connected to this disorder, so life is very challenging. Asher is 18 and has it to a lesser extent but has been unable to attend school/sixth form full-time for many years.
EDS is an underfunded charity and needs research into the more debilitating forms of the condition, so Matt is attempting to raise as much money as possible, but also help to raise awareness through social media channels. If anyone would like to donate – the links to his JustGiving and Facebook pages are below. Thank you for your support.