A big hearted nine year old girl from East Markham, Newark, has been so inspired by the bravery of her friend’s little sister, who has a rare liver disease, that she is taking on a major uphill cycle challenge during her summer holiday to raise funds for the charity who have supported her.
During her holiday in Norway next month, Amy Kirkby is planning to cycle 20 miles from Flam, which is at sea level, to Myrdal which is 2844 feet above. She’s hoping to raise £500 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) since finding out how the charity supports her friend’s six year old sister, Ellie, who was born with the rare liver disease PFIC 1.
“Amy has seen first hand what it is to live with this rare disease,” says her mum, Jennie. “The condition affects Ellie’s growth, her ability to absorb essential vitamins and makes her constantly itchy. She has many medications and interventions to cope with this. Despite this she is a strong character with a loving and cheeky personality. We know how much CLDF means to Ellie’s family and, once Amy had the idea for a cycle challenge she knew instantly who she wanted to do it for.
“It is a big challenge for a nine year old but Amy has been cycling since she was four and has been properly training for this, doing distance and hill training twice a week as well as swimming two miles a week. She’s on a time limit as she’s doing this during a cruise holiday and if we don’t get back in time, we’ll miss the ship!”
Ellie’s family are touched by Amy’s efforts:
“CLDF have been a key part of our journey since Ellie was diagnosed,” says her mum, Emily. ”They are a wonderful charity who provide, information, guidance, support and help fund vital research in these liver diseases. We are so grateful to Amy and feel extremely touched that she has chosen to support CLDF for Ellie and our family. We wish her every success in this amazing adventure and know she will smash it. ”
Amy herself is very focussed on the task in hand: “ I am determined to get to the top and raise as much money as possible,” she says. “Training is very hard work but it’s also making me feel really proud about being able to help. I want to raise money and awareness because I know how important this charity and all other charities are. If CLDF did not exist, Ellie’s family and others would not have anybody by their side to ask questions or help them understanding how liver disease can affect their family.”
You can support Amy in her cycling challenge by going to: David Kirkby is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (justgiving.com)
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.