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Inspired by Leo – why Chris has set himself a Marathon challenge

At the start of this year, Chris Jebb from Exminster had never run more than 10K but on Sunday (October 2) he’ll be joining thousands of others pounding the streets of the capital in the London Marathon. It’s undoubtedly a challenge but one which Chris is determined to complete in order to raise funds for a charity very close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

“Back in 2017, my wife and I received the devastating news that our one week old son, Leo had an incredibly rare and complex liver condition,” explains Chris 33, an accountant for Exeter based Hi-Line.  “It turned our lives upside down and felt like a nightmare. Leo’s illness progressed very quickly and when he was just 16 days old he received a life-saving liver transplant in a high-risk 12 hour operation which fortunately went well.

“We  stayed in hospital for 72 days, 30 of which were in intensive care. We became experts in medical terminology and the human body and tried to support each other as best we could. Today I’m happy to say that Leo is a very happy, cheeky beautiful four and a half year old with a wonderful sense of enjoyment for life. But we will never forget the information and support which CLDF gave us in those traumatic early days, or the fact that they will be there for Leo as he grows up.

“So that’s why I’m taking on the marathon. The support which CLDF provide to children and their parents is so important and I met many inspirational children in hospital who deserve the best support possible.  I also know how valuable research into childhood liver disease is for these children. Leo has also shown me that the greatest struggles can lead to the most beautiful outcomes. This marathon will be a struggle for sure but if I can complete the course and hit my fundraising target, I will be more than happy!”

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 that Chris is doing the London Marathon for us. It’s a huge commitment to take on, particularly for someone who has never run one before. We hope his first marathon is a fantastic experience and wish him all the best for the day.

You can support Chris’ marathon challenge by  going to: Chris Jebb is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (

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