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Running for Josh and Adam – Richard’s ready for his first London Marathon

Richard Wilks from Blackwood will be taking part in his first London Marathon next weekend which he hopes will raise over £2000 for a cause close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

“I found out about Children’s Liver Disease Foundation through my friend Stewart, whose nephew, Adam, was born with the rare liver disease PFIC,” says Richard, a 42-year-old father of two. “Tragically, despite undergoing a liver transplant in which he received part of Stewart’s liver, Adam died when he was just eight years old.

“Josh, Adam’s younger brother was also born with PFIC and he underwent a liver transplant when he was just 11 months old. Happily, Josh’s transplant was a success. He is now two and it is amazing to see the progress he is making.

“CLDF have always been there for the boys’ parents, Sally and Phil, both in terms of giving information about such a rare liver disease and providing support as they went through the difficult process of liver transplant twice. Josh’s transplant was particularly tough for the family, both because of everything they had been through with Adam and because the operation took place during the Coronavirus lockdown.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has also had an adverse effect on the funding that CLDF receives. They rely on voluntary donations and as with other small charities, their income has been significantly reduced over the past year. Josh and his family will continue to need their support, as will the many other families who are affected by childhood liver disease.

“So I felt that the London Marathon would be a great opportunity to do something in memory of Adam, and raise much-needed funds for CLDF. Training is going well although my legs are getting older and taking longer to get over my weekend rugby refereeing!

“Although I have run two marathons before, I have always wanted to do this one, so I’m really looking forward to the big day and am determined to do Adam and Josh proud.”

Richard Wilks, who is running the London Marathon next weekend with Josh, who has helped inspire him.

Alison Taylor, 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. Josh’s parents have been through an incredibly difficult time so it’s wonderful to know that Josh is doing well and that his family have the support of people like Richard who is taking on this challenge in Adam’s memory. What a lovely tribute – we wish him all the best for the day.”

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