'I knew I would suffer' - Determined dad completes 55-mile 'scoot'

David Bird with his daughter, Jade who was diagnosed with type one diabetes in August 2019.

David Bird with his daughter, Jade who was diagnosed with type one diabetes in August 2019. - Credit: David Bird

A Fakenham father has completed a 55-mile scooter ride for charity - overcoming a flare up of a debilitating condition along the way.

David Bird, a teaching assistant from the market town completed the 55-mile journey from London to Brighton on September 19, on his scooter, in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) raising almost £850 for them.

David Bird from Fakenham, stops for water on his 55-mile 'scoot'

David Bird from Fakenham stops for water on his 55-mile 'scoot' from London to Brighton. - Credit: Sarah Bee

Mr Bird suffers from ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a long-term condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed. He has not had a bad flare up for several years, but the day before his ride, leading up to start, he was in agony.

“I just didn’t want to let anyone down, I’ve had AS since I was 19 so I know the exercise helps and the scooter is not a strain,” he said.

David Bird from Fakenham, before he set off on his 55-mile journey from London to Brighton.

David Bird from Fakenham, before he set off on his 55-mile journey from London to Brighton. - Credit: Sarah Bee

“After the first few miles I thought I can do this, but knew I would suffer later.


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“Along the way, there was so much encouragement by people at the side of the road, plus the encouragement I had before from friends and family. It was great, once I got going there was no way I was going to stop.

“Regardless of how much pain I was in, I was getting to the end.”

David Bird at the finish line after completing his 55-mile ride from London to Brighton.

David Bird at the finish line after completing his 55-mile ride from London to Brighton. - Credit: Sarah Bee

His motivation also comes from his eight-year-old daughter, Jade.

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She was diagnosed with type one diabetes in August 2019 and the charity has been a huge support to her and their family, so he wanted to play his part in helping them in any way he could.

He applied for the event just a few months after her diagnosis but saw the first event cancelled as a result of the pandemic. He raised £150 to be able to take part in the race but left his Gofundme page up until he rode this year.

David Bird from Fakenham, before he set off on his 55-mile journey from London to Brighton.

David Bird from Fakenham, before he set off on his 55-mile journey from London to Brighton. - Credit: Sarah Bee

That meant he had raised £842 when he took to the start line.

“I feel really happy, this is the way I can put something back to them,” he said.

“I’ve had children with diabetes at the school but it became very personal with Jade.

“This had become a bit of a personal mission for me.”

Mr Bird is now recovering from his journey. He has already turned an eye to more fundraising for additional charities in the future.

David Bird completed the journey on his scooter. Kicking himself 55-miles from London to Brighton.

David Bird completed the journey on his scooter. Kicking himself 55-miles from London to Brighton. - Credit: Sarah Bee

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