Meet Our Patrons…
Tony Tobin – Celebrity Chef
Patron from 2004 to date
Tony is well known to viewers of the BBC’s Ready Steady Cook having appeared on the show over 300 times since 1992. Tony has been with Matthew’s Friends from the very beginning in 2004 and we are very proud to be ‘his’ charity. Tony has worked with us to try and raise awareness as well as raising funds for us with his marathons, gourmet evenings and supporting our Rainbow Balls. He really is a very ‘hands on’ patron and a lovely guy to work with.
Message from Tony….
When Emma wrote to me, asking me to join Matthew’s Friends as their patron, I, like most people, had never heard of the Ketogenic Diet. Ignorantly, I presumed that all children suffering from Epilepsy were given drugs that stopped it. I had no idea of the cocktail of drugs some of these children have to take on a daily basis. I also didn’t know that in some cases the drugs actually make their condition worse not better. To then read that a diet can replace or reduce drugs and work, is remarkable. Especially when some of those children that go on the diet can become completely seizure free and go on to lead normal lives.
After reading Matthew’s story there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help. Matthew’s Friends is an amazing charity and if by raising awareness of the Ketogenic Diet we can help other children like Matthew, then I am more than willing to do whatever I can to be part of it.
Since joining the charity in 2004 I have watched it grow at a phenomenal rate, and had contact with families from all over the globe. The fact that adults are now starting to be treated AND we are also beginning clinical research looking at the ketogenic diet for those with Brain Cancer and other serious neurological conditions means that the charity as well as our Matthew’s Friends clinic is just going to get even busier.
As a chef, the fact that this charity has a lot to do with food is obviously of great interest to me. Food has been a very positive part of my life, just like it was such a very positive part of Matthew’s life and still is!
I look forward to meeting many more families in the years to come and seeing many more people benefit from these diets and have a better life.
Fay Ripley – Actress and Cookery Writer
Patron from 2013 to date
Fay Ripley is a BAFTA nominated actress and an award-winning, best selling cookery writer having written three cookery books ‘What’s For Dinner’, ‘Fay’s Family Food’ and ‘Fay Makes it Easy’. We are delighted that she has agreed to join us as a Patron.
This is what she had to say…
After learning about Charlie’s Story through the narration I was doing for a programme on Channel 4, I was completely blown away with how ketogenic dietary therapies can change a child’s life so dramatically. Charlie becoming seizure free because of what he was eating was just such an incredible story that I knew that I wanted to find out more, so I contacted Emma Williams and upon learning about Matthew’s Story, as well and the damage that he suffered because he was denied the diet for so long, then there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help. As well as acting, food has always been a passion of mine and I share the belief of the charity that all those who want to try a ketogenic diet should be able to. What have you got to lose? I am delighted to be a Patron for this amazing charity that has gone from strength to strength and does so much to support families, patients and professionals in using these dietary therapies.