Running for Ayda – Jon takes on a marathon challenge

Jon Else from Altrincham is heading to London next weekend to take part in the Marathon (April 22). And while he has run two marathons already, this one is particularly important to Jon as he is aiming to raise £2,000 for a cause very close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

“My wife Alex and I knew nothing at all about this charity until our daughter Ayda was born 18 months ago,” explains 40 year old Jon, who works as finance director for Forster Dean solicitors in Widnes.

“Ayda was just a few weeks old when she was diagnosed with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. It was information we received from CLDF that helped us to get our heads around what was happening and explain it to other family members.

“Thanks to early surgery and excellent care, Ayda is currently happy and well. She has been through so much in her short life but done so with a smile on her face – she is the bravest person we know. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for childhood liver disease and we know we have a long road ahead of us, Ayda may even need a liver transplant one day, and we will need CLDF’s support in the years to come. The research which the charity funds is also very important to us as we hope this will be of value in the future to Ayda and other children like her.

“I started running ten years ago after giving up Sunday League football and thought the London Marathon would be a good way of raising money for CLDF and achieving something for myself. I completed my last marathon in four hours 51 minutes but training is going pretty well so I am determined to break four hours 30 this time!”

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations so we are delighted that Jon is doing the London Marathon for us. It’s a huge commitment and a real challenge. We wish him all the best for the day and will be there to cheer him on!”

You can support Jon’s London Marathon challenge by going to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jon-else1.