Matt Winton’s Icelandic charity challenge

Rangers fan Matthew Winton is about to face one of the toughest challenges of his life as he prepares to take part in a charity cycle ride across the mountains and volcanoes of Iceland.

He, along with nine other cyclicts, 5 of which are also QPR supporters (and Diabetics) are hoping to raise £30,000 to support a diabetes research project at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Matt and his brother Alex, who is a diabetic, were instrumental in bringing both Doudou and Daniel Shittu to Loftus Road last season and now they need your help.

Here, Matt takes up the story about the cycle ride and why he is doing it;

On the 1st July 2002, I will be participating as part of a small group of 10 in a charity cycle ride across the inhospitable mountains and volcanoes of Iceland.

The ten of us have pledged to raise £30,000 to support a vital Diabetes research project at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The charity in question is called “Sugar Free”.

One of the original participants has had to pull out at the eleventh hour and I have been called off the substitute’s bench to participate. The problem is that this has only given me two and a half weeks to raise sponsorship and get myself mentally and physically ready for the challenge ahead. I am relying on all of your generous support to motivate me in achieving a distance of 500KM by cycle and a further 50KM by foot in 5 days.

As most of you are probably aware, my brother Alex fell into a diabetic coma when he was 8 years old. Fortunately he was diagnosed in time at the Royal Free Hospital, however at the time the condition was life threatening. Since then Alex has had to inject himself up to 4 times a day, regularly monitoring his blood sugar levels.

Over the last five years Alex’s general health has deteriorated and he has been faced with numerous eye operations that has left him with very restricted vision (probably a favour to any QPR supporter), as well as having to take medication to facilitate a protein leak from his kidneys.

Diabetics suffer many potentially life threatening complications and debilitating illnesses that include blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attacks and strokes.

There are 1.4 million diagnosed diabetics in the U.K. and a further 1 million diabetics that are undiagnosed.

The funds raised by “Sugar Free” will help to continue the support of the Royal Free Hospitals pioneering project which could result in the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes since the discovery of insulin in the 1920’s.

I do hope that you all can dig deep to support this incredibly worthwhile cause.

Thanks for your support, Matthew Winton

If you can help, you can contact Matt by e-mail

Donations can be sent to:

Sugar Free
c/o Flat 2
142 Haverstock Hil
London NW3 2AY