Charlotte who is 12 and has primary sclerosing cholangitis, joined 14 other teenagers last May at CLDF Breakaway, a four-night outward bound trip for young people with a liver condition.
“I was both excited and nervous as although the activities sounded like fun, I didn’t know the other people who would be going,” she admits.
Charlotte (second left) made new friends at CLDF Breakaway
“I needn’t have worried though because I really enjoyed it. The high ropes and Leap of Faith were the best bits, but it was all fun. It was also good meeting other people who have a liver condition and I have kept in touch with them since. I definitely feel less isolated and lonely after Breakaway because I know I’m not the only one in my situation. I also feel more confident talking about my liver condition.”
Charlotte’s mum, Julie, noticed the difference as she returned:
“As a parent I can see how much this experience has benefitted her,” she said. “Not only in providing encouragement to push herself out her comfort zone at times, but also in realising that liver disease does not define her and that she is not alone in her journey. The support she has gained from meeting and socialising with other children in a similar position is invaluable, I can see now I will be making trips the length and breadth of the UK to keep up with these new- found friendships!”