Doctor cycles 520km in memory of his father

From left: Doctor Matt Jackson and team mates Andy Jones and Tim Dicksee at Lake Como, in Italy. Photograph: contributed
From left: Doctor Matt Jackson and team mates Andy Jones and Tim Dicksee at Lake Como, in Italy. Photograph: contributed
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A doctor has taken part in a four-day cycle over the Alps in memory of his father.

Dr Matt Jackson, 44, who lives in Eastbourne and is a partner at Seaford Medical Practice, cycled 520km from Geneva, Switzerland, to Milan, Italy, from June 28 to July 1 with about 20 members of The Green Army, a team of cyclists who often ride in aid of charity.

In 2010, his father, Roger, died from lymphoma – a type of blood cancer – aged 61, and the alpine ride was in aid of the charity Bloodwise, which funds research in to blood cancers.

Dr Jackson has raised more than £2,450 so far through his JustGiving page (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/drmatthewjackson). However, he says that the group has raised some £63,000 for the charity together.

He said: “I am so grateful for all the support I have had and would like to thank everyone who wished me well and helped me surpass my fundraising goal. Altogether we have raised more than £63,000 for Bloodwise, which will make a significant contribution to the work they do.

“I started cycling a few years ago as a way of getting fit and losing weight but never imagined then that I would one day manage to cycle over the Alps!

“This ride was by far the most challenging one I have ever done – I have never cycled so many miles on four consecutive days, especially not over such mountainous terrain.”

The cyclists crossed over the Alps from Switzerland into Italy at the Nufenen Pass, the second highest pass in Switzerland.

Dr Jackson added: “The top of the Nufenen pass is almost 2,500 metres which meant we were affected by the altitude. And the weather wasn’t on our side either – we had rain most of the way up which turned to hail and snow at the top!

“But we all made it and got down safely. It was a fantastic experience.”

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