Sunderland couple tackles Great North Run for charity which supports their daughter

Andrew and Leanne Harvey with their daughter, Saffron.
Andrew and Leanne Harvey with their daughter, Saffron.

A Sunderland couple are putting their best feet forward for a charity which supports their daughter.

Leanne and Andrew Harvey have already raised more than £10,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and will take on the Great North Run at the weekend to boost funds.

It is great knowing that there is someone there to listen

Leanne Harvey

The Town End Farm pair found out about the foundation when their daughter, Saffron, now 17, was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia.

Following early surgery at just three weeks, Saffron enjoyed good health for several years, but over the last three years, recurring bouts of illness have led to an increase in medication, hospital admissions and her family have been told that the next step will be a liver transplant.

Leanne, 36, said: “Some days Saffron really struggles with pain, sickness and tiredness due to her condition but she battles on, gets her college work done and has now completed her first year of A-level studies, we are so proud of her.

“Over the years CLDF have been a real support to her, providing information and advice regarding her liver disease and also arranging events so that she can meet other young people in her situation.

“She also uses their online facility to chat to other teenagers who know what she is going through and they can share experiences.

“The charity does so much, not just for the children who have to live with a liver disease, but for the parents and siblings on how to cope with the effect it has on the whole family. It’s great knowing that there is someone there to listen.

“Over the years we and our friends and family have done what we can to give something back to the charity through a variety of fundraising events.

“I’m proud of what we have achieved, but Saffron will continue to need CLDF’s support in the future so that’s why I’m doing the Great North Run for the fourth Time.”

Leanne and Andrew will this year be joined on the run by Leanne’s brother, Chris Scougal, and her friend, Kim Duncan.

Together the four runners hope to raise £1,000 for the charity.

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, said: “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 almost entirely on voluntary donations so we are delighted to hear that Team Saffron is taking part in the Great North Run again.

“Leanne and her family have inspired so much fundraising over the years and we truly admire their energy and commitment. We wish them all the best for the day.”

To sponsor the four runners visit www.justgiving.com/leannekimandychris-4.