FAMILIES with children suffering from liver disease have been able to “relax and unwind” at a “fun weekend” run by a leading charity.
The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) special weekend at PGL Dalguise in Dunkeld invited families from across Scotland to a two-day programme of activities.
For many, including the Booth family from Edinburgh, it was their first opportunity to meet other families affected by childhood liver disease.
Seven-year-old Anna, a pupil at Royal High Primary School, was diagnosed with portal hypertension last year.
The condition, which causes a low count of red and white blood cells, has forced the schoolgirl to spend time at the specialist liver unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
And Mum Clare admitted the family jumped at the chance to spend some time away from home, adding being surrounded by other families with similar experiences made it a “more fun” weekend.
She said: “We had a great time. It was nice to unwind, and just have fun, as a family.”
“The girls loved the whole weekend. Anna particularly enjoyed the zip wire, and her younger sister Rachel loved the nature walk and low ropes course. They also loved the campfire and the bunk beds.”
Clare added: “The best thing about it for us was being able to talk to people that know what you’re talking about but also understand your worries and experiences.”
”We don’t know what Anna’s future will be like, but now that I know there is a support network out there, and that we’re not the only people going through something like this, I feel a little better about it.”
At least 20 children are diagnosed with liver disease every week, while recent figures have suggested more children in the UK are currently diagnosed with a liver disease than childhood leukaemia.
There are over 100 different liver diseases that can affect babies, children or young people.
For most childhood liver diseases the cause is unknown and there are no cures.
The weekend was part funded by Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which has awarded more than £52 million to more than 16,000 projects all over the UK since launching in 2015.
CLDF Chief Executive, Alison Taylor, said: “We are the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all forms of childhood liver disease and supporting families is a key area of our work.
“Because liver disease in children is rare, it can be isolating, so this event was a great opportunity for families in Scotland to get together outside a hospital setting, have fun with their children and help support each other.”
She added: “We would like to say a particular thank you to Tesco who contributed to the costs of this weekend through their Bags of Help scheme.”