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Big sister Ella steps up with a Marathon challenge

 

Like many people, Ella Cooper took up running for the first time during lockdown. Now she’s not only running the London Marathon in a few weeks’ time, but is aiming to raise £2,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) , a charity which means a lot to her family.

“My brother Kieran was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and underwent a liver transplant when he was just 11 months old,” explains 25 year old Ella, who comes from Northwich. “I was only three at the time but I know that CLDF were a huge help to my parents. They helped them find accommodation every time Kieran was admitted to hospital in Birmingham, they put them in touch with sources of possible financial support, they gave me a book to help me understand what was happening and provided so much information about this rare disease and what the transplant meant for Kieran.

 

“Following the surgery, Kieran, who is now 22, continued to have regular medical checks but was doing really well until last year when due to continued portal hypertension and varicies (enlarged veins in the oesophagus) we were informed that we will need a second transplant and he is now on the waiting list. Having to go through all of this again has been really difficult and has made me realise how very tough it must have been for my parents when Kieran and I were so young. So it feels like now is the time to repay CLDF for being there for my family the first time round and to ensure that they can continue to be there for other families when they need it most.

“I thought the London Marathon would be a good fundraiser because for me it really does represent a challenge. I only started running during lockdown, struggled to get into it when I moved to London, and before starting training for this, had never run more than 10k!  So I’m nervous and excited at the same time. Training has been tough but I know that I’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment once I’ve achieved this, it will be worth it. My family are really proud of me for doing raising money for something which is so close to all our hearts, and I’ve no doubt plenty of tears will be shed once I’ve crossed that finish line!”

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 delighted that Ella has chosen to run her first marathon for us. What a wonderful way to show support for her brother. We hope she thoroughly enjoys the experience and we’ll be there to cheer her on.”

You can support Ella’s London Marathon challenge by  going to is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (justgiving.com)

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