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‘A dream come true’ – why Louis’ London Marathon challenge will be special


A 22 year old trainee teacher from Salisbury, who was born with a rare and incurable liver disease, will be running the London Marathon next month as he’s determined to raise £2,000 for a charity very close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

The event will be the first marathon for Louis Smith, who has never let the fact that he has biliary atresia stop him from taking part in sport. In fact he sees it as a motivating factor as he explains:

“I strongly believe that my liver condition has instilled in me an incredible sense of determination, resilience, and self-motivation to achieve. I have felt this belief prevail on many occasions whether it’s graduating from university, being selected to represent my city for youth football, or competing at county level for cross-country running.

“My family and I have always been aware of the work CLDF do, so when I graduated last year and no longer had the pressure of exams it seemed like the right time to give something back. I’ve always thrived on challenges so the London Marathon seemed like the ideal fundraiser!

“I’ve been training steadily over the past few months and everything is going to plan.  The main impact of my liver condition when training for an event like this is fatigue. This means that working full time and fitting in the necessary training can be tricky but I finally feel I’ve learnt to manage it. One thing I have really had to learn to accept, is that there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a day off, or admitting you don’t feel up to it today! Mental health is just as vital as physical, especially when you are a young person living with a liver condition.

“Now it’s only weeks to go, I’m so excited for the big day. I have watched the marathon on television for many years, and always dreamt that may be me one day. My family will all be there and taking part in such an internationally recognized event for a cause that really is so close to my heart, will really be a dream come true for me.”

Michelle Wilkins, Head of Services at 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 on voluntary donations, so we are thrilled to see that Louis is raising funds for us in this way. By taking on a challenge like the London Marathon, he is providing a wonderful example to other young people with liver disease so we feel incredibly proud and will be cheering him on, on the day!”

You can support Louis’ London Marathon challenge by going to Louis Smith is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (

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