Big Yellow Friday –

5 March 2021

Many people do not even realise that liver disease is something which affects young people but each week in the UK, 20 children are diagnosed. However, you can make a difference.

Show your support and join #BigYellowFriday on Friday 5th March 2021. It’s time to shine a light on childhood liver disease!

Donate to Big Yellow Friday

Who your Big Yellow Friday funding helps

Habiba’s story

“As a family we know all about the impact which child liver disease can have.Habiba, who is the youngest of my five children, was diagnosed with biliary atresia at birth. By the time she was five her condition had deteriorated and we were told she needed a transplant.

Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful and a year later she underwent a second transplant. Sadly that failed too as did her third. It was only after her fourth liver transplant that she began to thrive.

We had started to wonder whether her body could survive it all but she came through it and is now full of energy and doing well at school.We have had so much support from CLDF that we always join in Big Yellow Friday.

It’s a great way of raising awareness of children’s liver disease. So many people know nothing about it at all.Habiba’s school are really supportive. They always have a Wear Something Yellow Day and a cake and samosa sale – we have raised over £2,000 to date.We are already planning next year’s event!”

– Farzana, Habiba’s mum

Dr Jake Mann's story

Funding from Big Yellow Friday also helps fund research into childhood liver disease. Dr Jake Mann - one of the beneficiaries of our research funding programme - is leading an investigation into the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children.

Funding from Big Yellow Friday enables us to provide financial grants to a variety of research projects exploring childhood liver disease.

Dr Jake Mann is just one of the scientists whose work benefits from this funding. His study focuses on the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children who have received treatment for craniopharyngioma brain tumours. Young craniopharyngioma tumour patients are more at risk for developing obesity and NAFLD, due to the tumour's position within the brain area that controls appetite and hormone levels. However it is still not understood why NAFLD develops quicker in these patients than other children with obesity.

This research project has also lead to the development of a blood test that could become clinical practice within five years, reducing the need for a liver biopsy in the management of paediatric NAFLD. Dr Jake Mann commented:

“It is early days, but the results of the research are promising and could help shift the way we understand and manage paediatric NAFLD: saving resources, time, and stress for children and their parents.”

Thomas’s story

Thomas from Portadown in Northern Ireland who was born in March 2017 was just eight days old when his GP referred him to hospital with a slight heart murmur.

“When the hospital did blood tests, they could see that there was a problem with his liver but he also had sepsis” explains Thomas’ dad David. “The next day we were transferred by air ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where they successfully treated the sepsis but confirmed that he had biliary atresia, a rare and life threatening liver disease “It was while David was in hospital with Thomas that he first encountered Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

“The staff would come into the hospital, talk to the parents and patients (if they were old enough). They would bring in cakes and get anything that was needed. It sounds like a very simple thing, but when you have been living on the ward for an extended period any glimpse of reality helps.”Even after Thomas was discharged from Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the next few months were tough on the whole family as Thomas’ condition did not improve and there were several trips both to their local hospital and to Belfast Children’s Hospital.On September 24 Thomas was admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital once more and his family were told that a liver transplant was his only option. Fortunately he did not have to wait long for a donor liver to become available and received his transplant on October 7.

After two weeks he was able to come home and happily he has continued to thrive since. Throughout their experience Thomas’ family has found CLDF’s support extremely valuable. “As well as visiting us in hospital, CLDF organise events here in Northern Ireland which the whole family can attend” says David. “It means Thomas’ elder sisters and brother can meet others who have been through the same experience of having their parents away for extended periods while their sibling has major surgery.

I always feel it is the other children that suffer privately and these events really help as they know they are not the only ones who have been through this separation. “Medical staff do a wonderful job and take care of the patient’s every need but having someone to talk to, having a cup of coffee and a bun handed to you can turn a very stressful and unbearable situation into something that can be coped with and this is where CLDF come in.

The simple act of friendship from someone who has time and knowledge to explain something is more important than anyone can imagine.”Donations from Big Yellow Friday provide Children’s Liver Disease Foundation the funds to put towards a support team to attend hospitals and clinics and meet families such as the Bell Family.

Why we got involved with Big Yellow Friday

Tiffany’s story

“When your child has a liver disease it affects the whole family``

My youngest child Tiffany, who is now two, received a liver transplant last year.

Thankfully she is now doing really well but the support of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation has been invaluable to us all as a family.So earlier this year I asked the staff at Abbey Primary School, where her older siblings go, if they would like to get involved in Big Yellow Friday and they were delighted to!

I suggested a Wear Yellow Day as it’s really easy to organise and all the pupils paid £1 to join in with that. In addition the Year Two and Year Three pupils put their heads together and decided they would like to do a sponsored walk.

I was really touched to get so much support from children and staff who don’t even know Tiffany. It just shows the response you can get when a school understands that something is directly affecting one of their own families.

They raised a fantastic £1,235 in total.I felt so proud and so grateful that afterwards I went in to do a little talk at their assembly about liver disease and organ donation and the children were really receptive.I know that we can all be a bit reluctant to approach schools about fundraising because they do get loads of requests from bigger charities.

However when there is a personal connection it is a bit different and even if they only do a Wear Yellow Day it can bring in a lot of money.
I always say ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ so go for it!”

– Dee, Tiffany’s mum

Julie’s story

“My daughter Charlotte became un-well in May last year and was transferred from our local hospital to Kings where, after several tests, she was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

It’s a shock to be told that your 11-year-old daughter, who was previously fit and well, has a rare liver condition. Even though I’m a nurse I knew nothing of childhood liver diseases (I had specialised in adults with cardiac conditions) and I was keen to find out what information and support was out there.

We found out about CLDF from a leaflet in the parents’ room on Kings’ Rays of Sunshine ward and Charlotte, her elder sister Jessica and I all attended the CLDF conference and family weekend in October. Although her condition is now stable, thanks to the care of the amazing team at Kings who still see her regularly, Charlotte’s diagnosis had left her feeling isolated and low and we wanted her to meet other children with similar conditions. I’m happy to say it did the trick! Charlotte had a great time, made new friends and realised she was not alone. In fact, she’s already signed up for CLDF Breakaway in May.

So, this was my motivation to fundraise for CLDF – I wanted to give something back to a small charity which has been such an enormous help and support to us as a family over the past eight months. I chatted with Sophie and Lucy at the family weekend about how I could help and there it started! It started with siting a couple of collection tins in local businesses.

Now I think I have six to keep track of and I’m still looking for homes for more!Big Yellow Friday is a great opportunity to get more people involved in fundraising. I happen to work at Charlotte’s school so we will have an extra big push on it! We’re having a Wear Yellow Day, (including a penalty payment for wearing non-uniform that is not yellow!) and a ‘Guess how many sprinkles on the yellow cake’ competition. Because Charlotte was diagnosed at the end of her time at her primary school, they have also agreed to run Big Yellow Friday there too, as well as in two other schools in the education trust.

So, we should be collecting in funds from four schools in total!I’m pleased to say I’ve had a positive response to Big Yellow Friday, especially when people hear my story and I would say to anyone who is thinking about getting involved just go for it! You can do as much or as little as you like or have time for. It is a great feeling to know that you are contributing to helping others, especially those closest to you.

I am not an event’s organiser nor a sales person, but I am proof that you can approach people and have success! Just ask – they can only say no and might just surprise you! I don’t have loads of time to spare – like many people I have a very busy job – but I feel this gives me something back that most jobs can’t – a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are making a difference!

-Julie, Charlotte’s mum

Joseph’s story

“My son Joseph has biliary atresia. His first few years were tough – he spent a lot of time in hospital – and Children’s Liver Disease Foundation were always there for us with information and support.

Joseph had not been at school long when his health deteriorated and he went on the transplant list. He was fortunate to receive his new liver when he was six and since then has gone from strength to strength.Joseph’s school, St Charles Primary, had been really understanding of his condition right from the start, and continued to be brilliantly supportive when he was able to return.

So when I knew Big Yellow Friday was coming up I decided to ask if they would get involved. I thought it would be a good way of helping other children understand a bit about Joseph’s liver condition and of giving something back to CLDF.They loved the idea and we decided to have a yellow themed cinema afternoon showing the Minions Movie – what else?!The afternoon was a huge success. The children paid £1 to come to school in yellow and watch the film with popcorn instead of Friday afternoon lessons!

And it was a lovely way for Joseph’s school mates to show that they were really behind him. The local paper came along and took pictures, which was a great way of raising awareness. And we raised an amazing £520 for CLDF.I would advise any parent whose child has a liver condition to ask their child’s school about joining in with Big Yellow Friday. It’s a great way for children to show their support and find out about a charity they may never had heard of.”

– Elizabeth, Joseph’s mum

Now here’s how you can help!

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