Celebrity beauty queen backs charity cycle challenge as she fights mystery illness

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By HelenDraycott | Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 11:49

THE winner of one of the world's most prestigious beauty pageants is throwing her tiara – and support – behind a Walsall charity's cycling challenge of a lifetime.

Walsall beauty queen Deana Uppal, who was crowned Miss India UK last year, is giving her backing to Acorns Children's Hospice's latest fund-raising drive – one of the biggest ever held

The former Big Brother finalist has teamed up with the charity, which cares for life-limited children at its hospice in Walstead Road, to encourage families, friends and supporters of the charity to get on their bikes and take part in the India Cycle Challenge.

Taking place in November, the testing challenge will see participants cycle through Rajasthan from Jaipur to Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal.

Weaving through Indian back streets, rural villages and desert landscapes, long hot days will be spent in the saddle.

Now cyclists are needed to join in the pedal power and help raise vital funds for the hospice.

Lucy Shepherd, Acorns' treks and challenges officer, said:  "It costs £750 per child, per day, to care for Acorns' children. Our care funds have to be raised mainly from the community, so to have the help of a celebrity like Deana is a breath of fresh air."

A celebratory dinner will be held for cyclists once they reach Agra before spending a day visiting the Taj Mahal. Fund-raisers will also have the opportunity of extending their stay to help a community project working towards improving the lives of local children.

Local beauty queen and model Deana, who made it to the final three of last year's Big Brother, kindly volunteered to support Acorns having learned of the charity's urgent need for more community help for its vital work in supporting local life-limited children and their families.

And it's support she is hoping to continue despite being hospitalised on a trip to Goa this week.

The Bollywood star tweeted a picture of herself lying in a hospital bed in India to her 20,000 followers after being struck down by a mystery illness, which is believed could be linked to food poisoning.

It is thought she will be fit to fly back to the UK in time to judge the Miss Asian Model 2012 final in London on Sunday (January 13).

To find out more about joining the India Cycle Challenge, call Acorns on 0844 984 0405, email events@acorns.org.uk or visit the website, www.acorns.org.uk/events

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