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Hair we go! Gwilym inspires fundraising to help children with liver disease

A store manager from Canterbury has pledged to undergo a hair-raising experience in a bid to raise £500 for the charity which is very close to the heart of one of his staff.

Ant Price, manager of The Works in the High Street, promised that, if staff and customers could hit their £500 fundraising target for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, then he would have his chest waxed.

“We found out about the work of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation through Gwilym, who despite having a rare liver disease and going through some really tough times, is a loyal and much-loved member of our team,” says Ant.

“As a baby I was diagnosed with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia,” explains Gwilym, 31. “Early surgery was unsuccessful, and I was given a liver transplant when I was just five months old at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Sadly, this failed, and I was lucky to receive a second transplant shortly afterwards and, thanks to the wonderful care I received, this lasted for 26 years, and I was able to enjoy my school and university years.

“Unfortunately, in 2017, a year after I had joined The Works, I suffered catastrophic liver failure and was rushed to Kings College Hospital where a third transplant saved my life. Since then, my health has been stable and since lockdown, I have been able to get fully back into life again.

“Throughout all this, CLDF has been there for me. I remember my parents fundraising for the charity when I was a child and I gained great comfort from knowing that there were other young people in my situation. The charity does a wonderful job for both families and medical professionals in terms of information, support and research and I love to think that one day, we will find the cause of diseases like mine and children will not need to undergo liver transplants.

“Because of all this, I’m delighted that my colleagues at The Works are fundraising for CLDF. Ant, my manager, was very supportive when I had my emergency transplant in 2017 and I think its brilliant that he’s volunteered to have his chest waxed to raise funds for a cause which really means a lot to me.”

“We were delighted to support such a fantastic cause and delighted to have hit our fundraising target quickly,” says Ant. “Unfortunately, it means I now have no choice but to go through with the wax!”

Rebecca Cooper, 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 on voluntary donations, so we are delighted to hear that Ant is going through the pain barrier to support us! It’s wonderful to know that Gwilym is doing well and has such supportive colleagues around him.”

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