Charlie Ashton’s career as a personal trainer keeps her fit. But over the past few months, the mum of two from Adwick le Street, near Doncaster, has been putting in some extra training, as next weekend (September 12) 44 year old Charlie and her partner, Mick, will be taking part in the Great North Run to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
The charity has been an important one to the family ever since Charlie’s daughter, Enola, who is now eight, was diagnosed with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia when she was just 12 days old. She underwent surgery when she was 17 days old to create a new bile duct, and is currently doing well.
“Looking at Enola, you would never know there was a problem, as she appears so healthy but regular checks on her liver show a different story,” says Charlie. “She has now developed portal hypertension; the left lobe of her liver no longer functions while the right lobe has cirrhosis and fibrosis. So we know, given the level of deterioration, that she will require a transplant at some point.
“CLDF have always been there for us with information and support but during the pandemic they were invaluable, keeping us up to date with all the recommendations and helping us navigate all the advice and guidance for children like Enola.
“As Enola gets older, her needs will change significantly. Being a teenager is hard enough without throwing chronic liver disease into the mix. She and other young people in her situation need the support which CLDF provide, somewhere safe to share and be understood. This charity is a lifeline for us and for so many other families and we want to raise as much as we can because they rely solely on donations.
Charlie, pictured with daughter Enola, and Mick, who will be doing the Great North Run to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.
“Training has not been plain sailing as I fell recently and thought I had broken my ankle but we’re back on it, determined to complete the Run in around two hours ten and to hit our fundraising target of £800, so bring it on!”
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. We’re so glad that Charlie and Michael found our support valuable during the pandemic and it’s brilliant to know that they are doing this for us. We wish them all the best for the day and hope they thoroughly enjoy the experience.”
You can support Charlie and Mick by going to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlotte-ashton16.