Sunderland dentist on mission to Morocco

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A SUNDERLAND dentist is showing “wheel” heart with a bike ride through the Sahara desert for charity.

Michael Oliver will swap his daily pedal to work for a brutal trek in 55°C heat.

The dad-of-three said: “You get to a certain age, realise you’ve been lucky, and want to do your bit.

“Four years ago I founded a charity called Dental Mavericks. We travel to Morocco once a year, and offer free dental care to the children who live in the fishing region of El Jebah.

“They have a high sugar diet and no dentists. The first year, we were taking out teeth in the school classroom.

“Now, we have proper Western equipment, and we’ve raised enough money to convert an ambulance and take it up into the Riff mountains.”

Michael and 10 other members of the Dental Mavericks will fly to Marrakech and enter the northern region of the desert, via Morocco and the Atlas mountains, where they will be guided on a 200-mile bike ride by tribesmen.

Michael, from Chester-le-Street, will return to Morocco in September to treat hundreds of children in need of fillings and extractions. “All of us fund our own travel. I’m not keen on the idea of others paying for my flights and accommodation, so every penny donated will go directly to the charity.”

Later in the year, Michael will cycle from Dublin to Sunderland for SAFC’s Foundation of Light charity.

To make a donation, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Michael Oliver.