A DEDICATED dad has embarked on a mission to raise funds and awareness for the disease from which his son suffers.

Ian Bramhall was speechless - and then delighted - when his partner Gemma revealed she was pregnant, and on July 18, 2012, the couple had a seemingly healthy baby boy.

But a few days after the couple brought Riley home, he was back in hospital again, where he was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, a disorder of the abdomen.

"It has been difficult and it is still difficult, but it does not outweigh the joy that he gives us. It was well worth it," said 28-year-old Ian.

"The hardest part was about this time last year when his bowel ruptured and we very nearly lost him.

"He still has challenges to face and that's why, when I found out about Champs Appeal, I decided to try to raise some money for them.

"I can't run any more, so I thought why not cycle.

"My best friend Ryan Heapy said he would help."

One-year-old Riley has undergone endless operations and had the defective part of his intestine removed, but Ian said the toddler now suffers from terrible nappy rash.

He requires a special cream called iLex to help soothe the symptoms, but this is not available on the NHS - something that Ian has been campaigning to change to help other families in a similar situation.

Ian, of Askrigg Close, Atherton, who works in commercial sales, said: "Riley's nappies are so acidic that it literally burns his skin away to leave the flesh red raw, bloody and extremely painful.

"What the future holds for Riley is unclear, but what we do know is he is a little character."

Ian and Ryan completed a 60-mile bike ride from Leigh to Formby on March 30 in the hope of raising £750 for Champs Appeal, which aims to raise awareness of the condition.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/ ian-bramhall.