A young man from Flitwick who received a life-saving liver transplant as a baby, is walking 310,000 steps this month in a bid to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
Paul Robinson, 24, a pensions officer for West Northants Council, was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and received a liver transplant when he was just ten months old.
“My parents, like most people, knew nothing about liver disease in children,” explains Paul. “But Children’s Liver Disease Foundation were there for them with information about my condition and what it meant from me. Throughout my childhood, they continued to give all of us information, support and advice, whether it was through their leaflets, members of the team at hospital appointments or the wealth of information on their website. They also put me in touch with other children with similar experiences to mine.
“They’re a small charity but their work is vital and as their national fundraising day, Big Yellow Friday, is taking place on March 31, I decided to take on a month-long challenge.”
Paul is planning to do 10,000 steps every day during March, something he would have found impossible when he was young.
“I had many hospital appointments and was tired a lot, so couldn’t do many different activities in the week, like my friends could,” he says. “It’s one of the reasons that meeting other children in my situation through CLDF was so helpful. I realised I wasn’t alone. Now, thankfully, my health is much better. I no longer suffer from that extreme tiredness, so I can enjoy seeing my friends and having a life outside work. I remember well what it was like to feel isolated as a youngster though, so I thought it was time to put my energy to some good use. I don’t normally do long walks other than on holiday, so I’m sure I’ll have aching legs for the first few days at least but I’m determined to see this through!”
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 Big Yellow Friday is a really important day for us and we are delighted to hear that Paul is joining in with a month-long challenge. It’s a wonderful way of giving back and helping other young people like him.”
You can support Paul’s 310,000 step challenge by going to Paul Robinson is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (justgiving.com)