A mum from Sevenoaks who describes herself not as a runner but a ‘plodder of short distances’ is taking on her first London Marathon this Sunday (April 23). And while 43 year old Isobel Hohler is not setting herself any targets regarding her time, she has already raised over £5,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF). The charity has been important to Isobel and her family ever since her daughter, Luna, now six, was diagnosed with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia and underwent a liver transplant when she was just 11 months old.
“From the moment Luna was diagnosed with biliary atresia at two weeks old, a member of CLDF visited us in our hospital ward and they have held our hands ever since. I don’t know where we would be without them,” explains Isobel. “They have advised and supported us since day one and do the same for families around the UK whose children are affected by rare liver diseases we still do not know the causes of.
“So although the thought of running a marathon in front of crowds is one which fills me with dread for many reasons, it’s something which has been on my bucket list for years. Yes it will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I have chosen. Luna doesn’t have a choice. No-one asked her if she’d like to undergo several major surgeries before her first birthday, followed by endless blood draws, medications, illnesses, complications, scans, sedations and biopsies. So preparing for an endurance test like this has given me a tiny insight into what resilience really means and opened my eyes to what we ask of her.
“To complete the marathon and raise a decent amount of money for a charity which has made such a difference to us will mean a lot to me. Luna, thankfully is doing well at the moment but childhood liver disease is lifelong. She will know that CLDF will have her back as she grows up and I want that to be the case for every child in her situation. So I won’t say I’m excited and ready to race, as so many runners are, but I do feel calm and prepared for the challenge and will be so proud to give something back and make a small impact on the work this incredible charity does.”
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 Isobel is taking on the London Marathon for us and want to congratulate her on her amazing fundraising. She should be incredibly proud of herself for taking this on and we wish her all the best for the day.”
You can support Isobel’s London Marathon challenge by going to Children’s Liver Disease Foundation: A little bit about WHY… (enthuse.com)
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.