St Albans dad takes on London to Paris ride for diabetes research

Jason’s 13-year-old daughter Maddie was diagnosed three years ago.

Jason’s 13-year-old daughter Maddie was diagnosed three years ago. - Credit: Archant

A group of dedicated dads, all with diabetic children, are cycling from London to Paris to raise money for scientific research.

The 12 men, baptised the Diabetes Dads, will ride the 300km over four days in aid of charity JDRF, which funds Type One diabetes research. They have already raised nearly £3,000, just over half of their £5,000 goal.

One of the dads, Jason Wills, is from St Albans: “It will take us four days, hopefully of glorious weather, rolling through the French countryside, having the odd verre de vin once the day is done, and eating plenty of gateau during the day. After all, we need to keep our strength up. The only “pain” will be of the baguette variety.”

Jason’s 13-year-old daughter Maddie was diagnosed three years ago: “Imagine that, no more finger prick tests, no more injections, no more canulas, no more sensor inserts.

“Our kids have upwards of 2,500 needles in their bodies each and every year, and will until there’s a cure. Your donation, however large or small, will be very gratefully received.”

Other diabetes dads hail from all over the country. Mike Bullock, Alan Rick, and Kev Winchcombe, are riding for Kev’s needle-phobic 17-year-old daughter, Amy; Andrew Stroud, is representing 12-year-old Bia; Alistair Samuelson’s son George is seven; Daniel Hill has taken on the challenge for Alexia, after he said the diagnosis “hit the family like a train”.

Paige Scaife was diagnosed at five, and her dad Vincent has been fund raising ever since then.

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He said: “At age five life changed for her and for us from that point on and although we have had tears and tantrums this is mainly from us as Paige never lets it get in the way.

“We’re proud of everything she achieves. Research has enabled her to gain better control on some form of normality by wearing a Medtronic pump and sensors.”

Andrew Draper is riding for his 15-year-old son, Jack, and Richard Dainton is fund raising for his two daughters - three-year-old diabetic Eleanor and six-year-old Hannah, who has also had her life turned around since the diagnosis. Matt Kaye’s daughter Amy, 17, was diagnosed four years ago and Steve Henson is representing his daughter Poppy.

The ride will start on May 24. Donate at