Disabled Stansted man swims 'Channel' to raise cash for Multiple Sclerosis Society
A severely disabled swimmer has raised more than £1,600 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society as he tries to clock up the equivalent mileage to crossing the English Channel.
Matthew Baker, who is originally from Stansted, where mum and dad Helen and Peter still live at Recreation Ground, is close to completing his challenge of swimming 22 miles in 22 weeks – despite living with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
His proud musician brother Simon, owner of the Livewire Rock Academy schools and frontman of disco band Uncle Funk & The Boogie Wonderband, said: "My brother is a disabled man on an epic journey.
"He's completed a few one-mile swims over the years, raising money for different charities. This summer he gave himself the enormous task of swimming 22 miles in 22 weeks to raise money for multiple sclerosis, a disease he's lost friends to.
"His disabilities mean he's increasingly unable to do things for himself and is now largely confined to a wheelchair. Swimming is his release and freedom, but he loves to give it purpose!"
Matthew, 51, now lives in sheltered accommodation in Papworth Everard, Cambs. His MP, Independent Heidi Allen, has written to him to praise his efforts, not least because his exertions to complete 2,376 lengths of his local pool in Huntingdon, as well as his healthy diet, have cured his type 2 diabetes.
Simon, who runs the Livewire rock schools in Bishop's Stortford, Dunmow, Saffron Walden and Epping, said: "He's currently 2,000 lengths into his swim and has a few hundred to go to 'complete the Channel'."
To sponsor Matthew, who started his swim in March and has been completing an average of 108 lengths a week, visit his JustGiving page.