THIS time last year schoolboy Daniel Findlay was confined to a wheelchair – but next weekend he’ll be pedalling 30 miles to raise hundreds of pounds for Sport Relief.
The inspirational 14-year-old had life-changing surgery to help him walk, thanks to the generosity of the community and our readers who helped his family raise £50,000.
And now he says he wants to ‘give something back’.
Daniel, of Albert Grove, Southsea, told The News: ‘Every day I think to myself how lucky I was to have the operation, and it was only possible because so many people raised money for me.
‘I watch Sport Relief every year and I see how much good it does.
‘Now I’m better I’m in a position where I can help.
‘It’s important for me to give something back, to show everyone who supported me I’m making an effort and to help change someone else’s life for the better.’
Daniel’s dorsal rhizotomy operation was aimed at reducing the crippling tightness of his muscles caused by a form a cerebral palsy.
‘Since the surgery his improvement has been remarkable.
He can now walk independently with a frame and can rest the soles of his feet on the ground for the first time in years.
The exercise bike is part of his two-hour daily dose of physiotherapy – and last week he cycled 10 miles non-stop on it in one-and-a-half hours.
Dan said: ‘It’s a tough challenge but I didn’t want to set myself something I could do comfortably.
‘I’m nervous because I don’t have a lot of time to build up to 30 miles, but I’m determined not to let anyone down.
‘I’ve been training every day and I know I’ll finish the challenge, no matter how long it takes.’
Dan, a student at Portchester Community School, has already had donations from his teachers and fellow students and hopes readers will be able to dig deep once again for another cause.
Mum Sara, 51, said: ‘I’m so proud of Daniel.
‘This has all come from him. He is determined help because people were there to help him when he needed it.
‘This is his chance to show everyone is can achieve something for a good cause that he wouldn’t have been able to do before the operation.’
To sponsor Daniel’s challenge on March 23 go to justgiving.com/Daniel-Findlay0