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Daniel in the saddle for Children in Need

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: October 21, 2013

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A SWADLINCOTE teenager who was struck down by a bout of meningitis which left him in a coma has been selected to appear on BBC’s Children in Need as part of a ‘Rickshaw challenge’ spanning the country.

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Bailey has been selected as one of 10 riders for The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge; a 700 mile journey across the UK to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

At 14, Daniel was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis; an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. The condition left him in a coma and he spent more than six months in hospital, leaving him to learn how to eat, walk and talk again.

Even now Daniel struggles with balance and co-ordination. He currently attends the Children in Needed-funded Umbrella Play and Learn Scheme, which gives young people with special needs additional access to leisure and sports activities, and will be pedaling the rickshaw with his mother, Carol, 43.

Daniel said: “My mum’s like a guardian angel, so it’s great that we’re able to do this together. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and neither of us ever thought we’d ever get that. We’re really excited, and hopefully we’ll help raise lots of money for a great cause.”

Broadcast on The One Show through October and November, he will become a regular on television as viewers follow his progress with the group, as they take part in the show’s biggest challenge.

Riders will visit all four UK nations, pedaling through the night in a tag-team to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

One Show presenter Alex Jones will make up the 10th member of the group. Rickshaw veteran and fellow presenter, Matt Baker, will also support the ride, acting as a mentor and cycling alongside the riders on their eight-day journey across the UK.

He has been defying the odds ever since he started his recovery process. After several months in a wheelchair Daniel is now back at on his feet and attending college.

Readers can donate £5, by texting “TEAM ‘to 70705.

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