Going off to primary school is a major milestone for any child. When Grace Kelly started at Maralin Village Primary School, however, it was a particularly proud day for her parents, Ethel and Ivan. The five year-old from Dollingstown was diagnosed with liver cancer at the age of 16 weeks and underwent a liver transplant when she was just six months old Now as she nears the end of her first year, not only is she enjoying school like any other little girl, but her schoolmates have held a special fundraising day for the charity which means so much to her family, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
“We first came into contact with Children’s Liver Disease Foundation when Grace was having her transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital,” says Ethel. “They provided us with much-needed information and support at a difficult time and they have been there for us ever since. We love the family weekends they organise here in Northern Ireland, when we get to meet up with other families whose children have liver disease.
“We have obviously always been keen supporters of the charity, so we were thrilled when Grace’s school said they would like to join in Big Yellow Friday, the Foundation’s annual awareness and fundraising day.
“Staff and pupils made a donation in order to wear something yellow for the day and the school raised £335. Grace had a great time and we were delighted to see her school friends support her in this way.”
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 Maralin Primary’s donation is much appreciated, and we are delighted to see how Grace inspired her school to support us.”
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.