A dad of two from Frocester will be taking part in the Stroud Half Marathon at the end of this month, October 29 in a bid to raise awareness and funds for a charity very close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
Mike Price discovered the charity after his baby son Max was diagnosed with a rare liver disease last summer, something which came as a shock to Max and his wife, Laura.
“To begin with all seemed perfectly well with Max,” explains Mike. “He appeared healthy and was gaining weight as he should. We did think his eyes were ever so slightly jaundiced but as he appeared otherwise well and we knew that jaundice was common in babies, we weren’t unduly worried.
“At his seven week check, however, our health visitor was concerned about the jaundice and suggested he had a blood test. Immediately after this test, we were called back to our local hospital where doctors explained that Max’s blood showed high levels of bilirubin and they were concerned he may have the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. We were then transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where the diagnosis was confirmed and Max underwent an operation known as a Kasai procedure to try and restore bile flow from his liver and reduce the levels of bilirubin in his blood.
“Unfortunately after a few months of waiting and watching , it was clear that the Kasai had not worked. He became more poorly, more jaundiced and in March this year, when he was just seven months old, we were told that the only option was a liver transplant.
“We could see him going downhill fast and knew that time was of the essence. My wife, Laura, put herself forward to see if she was a match to be a donor but luckily within six days of being listed, we received a call to say that a suitable liver had been found and Max received his life-saving gift. He has continued to thrive since that day and has built up unbelievable strength.
“Throughout these very traumatic months, we found the information from CLDF to be a real help. We first heard about the charity in hospital when we were given their leaflets and other information to help us understand Max’s diagnosis. Then through the hard times waiting for transplant, splitting our time between being with Max at the hospital and being at home for our daughter, Lottie I found it helpful to read all the positive stories on their website and access any information I needed.
“So I’m doing the Stroud Half Marathon to help raise awareness of CLDF and enable them to continue their support for other families who may now be facing a diagnosis of liver disease in their child. Through what has possibly been the hardest and scariest times we have faced, we have made great friends with others in the same situation and have all stuck together helping each other and sharing our journeys as one big family. We will forever be grateful for the chance Max’s donor has given to him and the brave decisions the family made. Taking on a half marathon is a small challenge in comparison but is my way of giving something back.”
Michelle Wilkins, Head of Services for 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 so grateful that Mike is taking on the Stroud Half for us. It’s great to know that Max is doing so well and we’ll continue to be there for him as he grows up.”
You can support Mike by going to Mike Price is fundraising for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (justgiving.com)