Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

Brain-damaged Wigan girl's 'smile of defiance’ inspires family’s 500-mile Three Peaks cycle challenge

Brain-damaged Wigan girl's 'smile of defiance’ inspires family’s 500-mile Three Peaks cycle challenge

| By Stefan Mackley

A Wigan girl suffering with brain damage has inspired her family to take on a gruelling 500-mile bike ride – while ascending the three highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland.

Family and friends of Daisy Easton will pedal their way across the country while taking on the 3,407-metre total ascent of the Three Peaks challenge – all to repay the support the two-year-old has received.

The youngster has suffered from brain injuries since birth but that won’t stop her supporting her family as they aim to complete the daunting nine-day challenge.

“Knowing that Daisy is there when you’re doing the challenges acts as a reminder of what you are doing it for, which is a great sort of pick-up and really makes you push on,” said her uncle Adam Walsh.

The 31-year-old added: “As a family we have been told on many occasions [by doctors] to brace ourselves for the worst.

“Daisy, however, has had different ideas and continues to battle on each day, usually with a smile of defiance on her face.”


ALL SMILES: Daisy gives her supporters plenty of encouragement

Money raised from the challenge will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, who provide free ‘home away from home accommodation’ for families with children in hospital.

This support has been vital for Daisy’s family, allowing her parents to be with her at all times as she has been in and out of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital battling illness.

“Having the support of the charity made a massive difference, they were always there to help when the family needed it,” Adam said.

“What surprised us was that not only were these amazing facilities there but that they were free, which was just amazing.

“Daisy was ill over Christmas so she spent Christmas Day in hospital but the staff there were brilliant as well – they dressed up, really made an effort and were just amazing.

This is not the first time Adam, the regional accounts manager at Thwaites Brewery, has raised funds for the charity who have proved so vital to Daisy.

The Lowton resident, along with Daisy’s mum, dad and others, have been fundraising for the last two years and amassed an estimated £12,000.

Their efforts included a 130-mile cycle from Ashton-in-Makerfield to Abersoch in 2012, and a Tower to Tower bike ride last year – travelling 539 miles from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Blackpool Tower in just six days.

Adam explained the need to do an even bigger challenge this year, to keep supporting the charity which is close to their hearts.

“It came from last year when we did the Tower to Tower challenge and we wanted to do another one for this year, so we got together and started to come up with other ideas,” he said.

“We knew people did the Three Peaks challenge where they try to do it in 24 hours but we had never heard of anybody who also travelled to the mountains as part of the fundraiser.

“So it seemed like a good challenge and one that was unique.”


TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT: After taking on the Tower to Tower challenge in 2013, Team Daisy have raised the bar even further

At present, Adam and the other members of the team complete an average of 100 miles per week in preparation for the ‘hardest challenge we have done to date’.

But despite the ‘roll-out’ not taking place until August 9, Adam already has his eyes set on next year’s challenge.

“I was looking at doing the Rome marathon next year because I didn’t want to have a year off, so hopefully I can get a day off work and travel over and do it,” he said.

“But there are a number of weddings taking place in the family so we will have to see!”

Nonetheless, Adam knows that the sacrifices that he and the family make are all worth it for Daisy, and to ensure that other children are given the same crucial support.

“She came to see us last year when we did the Tower to Tower challenge and it was a complete surprise but it was great for us,” he said.

“The plan this year is for her to get to the top of Mount Snowdon using the railway and meet us there so we can take pictures with her, which will be great.”

You can make a donation by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/Donate4Daisy2014/

All images courtesy of the Donate4Daisy campaign, with thanks.