Eaton & Cringleford

Can you take the marshmallow challenge?

Just Regional
Oct 24, 2014 3 mins read

A brave local man who is living with a progressive terminal illness which has wasted his muscles and affected his speech has launched a fun new social media campaign to raise vital funds for the specialist centre which provides his care.

Daniel MacColl was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2012 after developing muscle weakness and extreme fatigue. He now receives specialist care at the Priscilla Bacon Centre, which is part of the Colman Hospital on Unthank Road, and is so grateful for his treatment that he has launched a new charity campaign to say thank you while raising awareness of MND.

The 31-year-old is encouraging people to take part in the “marshmallow challenge” by putting 10 marshmallows into their mouth and saying a tongue twister of their choice before nominating friends to do the same and making a suggested donation of £5. It is hoped the fun-packed fundraiser will share some of the success of the recent ice bucket challenge, and spread across social media as people upload videos of their attempt onto Facebook.

“My speech was one of the first things to go, and now I find communication very difficult,” said Daniel, who worked in nightclubs and restaurants across the world before becoming ill. “When I talk, people assume I’m drunk, which can be very frustrating. I came up with the marshmallow challenge to not only raise money but also awareness of the problems which people with MND have with communication. Hopefully everyone who tries to talk with a mouthful of marshmallows will realise just how difficult it can be for people like me.”

MND is a progressive disease which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, gradually stopping messages from reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

“I don’t like medication, and with the help of staff at the centre have found out the best care for me is physiotherapy twice a week and a glass of red wine every evening,” said Daniel. “Aromatherapy also works as it helps to relax the muscles.

“At the moment I’m doing great, and I owe it all to the palliative care staff at the centre, which is why I want to raise as much as possible. I love fundraising, and hope that the money raised through the challenge will be used for activities or to buy TVs and other equipment for other patients to enjoy.”

Several of the staff at the Priscilla Bacon Centre, which is run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), have already taken the squishy challenge.

To take part, record your video and upload to your Facebook page, remembering to nominate your friends by tagging them. You can also post your video, and watch others who have completed the challenge, on Daniel’s page at www.facebook.com/marshmallowchallenge.

Anyone mentioning the challenge on Twitter is being encouraged to follow Daniel @DanielMaccoll and use the hashtag #marshmallowchallenge.

Anyone who would like to donate should text PBLS22 and the amount to 70070.

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