A MAN with cerebral palsy has conquered 25 Munros and achieved a Masters degree after being constantly told as a child: “You have no chance in life.”

David Reilly, 47, was excluded from school at 14-years-old after being labelled as a child with learning disabilities.

But after learning to read and write with remedial teaching he went on to excel at university and has completed gruelling physical challenges.

Mr Reilly from Morningside, Edinburgh now hopes others will continue to live their dreams - even when it feels like schools, officials and workplaces have turned their backs.

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He said: “Looking back I realised it was never health professionals who wrote me off - it was schools, councils and employers who labelled me disabled, turned me away or thought of me as ‘less’.

“But I like to think I’ve now found my own way to live, to achieve and excel in things that make me happy despite what anyone thinks.”

Cerebral palsy affects movement and coordination, sometimes resulting in symptoms such as random uncontrolled movements.

Levels of disability can vary from minor to severe.

Mr Reilly shared his incredible journey ahead of the annual Bobath Scotland conference at Hampden Stadium where families and professionals who assist people living with cerebral palsy can come together.

He attended a mainstream primary school in East Lothian, but was later sent to a remedial teaching centre in Coventry where he had to re-learn everything taught since Primary 1.

He said: “I don’t have a learning disability.

“My cerebral palsy affects me physically not mentally - there’s was nothing wrong with my problem solving or creativity.

“Me and my parents were always told 'David would never sit a public examination' and that was that.

“Bureaucrats with no medical or social awareness caused more harm than anyone else.

“Not because their words hurt, but because they closed all sorts of doors and opportunities in my life before it even began - they effectively said ‘You have no chance in life.’.”

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But Mr Reilly, now an online content creator, did not let the small mindedness of red-tape workers hold him back.

Shortly after achieving a Masters in Cellular Biology from Manchester Medical School in 1989 he scaled his first Munro - the 3,553ft peak of Schiehallion in Perthshire.

Mr Reilly has since conquered 24 other Scottish peaks and now has his eye set on his first solo summit of a Munro.

He has also completed two mammoth cycling expeditions - the 234-mile Caledonia Way and the 185-mile long Hebridean Way.

He added: “These challenges I set myself are for me - they are my accomplishments.

“Whoever else is facing naysayers, discrimination or persecution I’d just say tell you to grab your passion and go with it - the only person that really decides what happens in your life is you.”

Stephanie Fraser, chief executive of Bobath Scotland - the only charity in the country dedicated to helping people with cerebral palsy - hailed Mr Reilly and called on officials to improve support for people living with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families.

She said: “David’s story proves those living with cerebral palsy can live a full life when they have access to the right support.

“There are many professionals in health and education who provide services for children with CP but when these children reach adulthood this support stops.

“The Scottish Government currently do not know how many Scots live with CP, yet other countries are developing ways to address this – because of this those living with CP can access the right support.

“No one in Scotland should ever feel overlooked so we need a similar system in place right away so that thousands of people and their families can live without limits rather than battle society’s limitations.”

For more information on Bobath event at Hampden on Thursday 3 October visit https://www.bobath.org.uk/