A WEST Ferry teenager has never let the fact that he has a rare liver disease hold him back.
And 17-year-old Peter Vannet will be proving the point at the weekend (August 4) when he sets off on the West Highland Way in order to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
Peter was just three when he was diagnosed with the rare liver condition, congenital hepatic fibrosis. His parents were put in touch with CLDF and it was through the charity that they made contact with another family - who now live in Australia - who have two boys with liver disease, both of whom required life saving liver transplants.
Peter commented: “Liver disease in children is pretty rare so I know that my parents found it really helpful to be able to share their experiences with other people who understood.
“As I’ve got older, I’ve found it really valuable too. I am still in contact with this amazing family in Australia and can’t thank CLDF enough for helping me in this way. Doing the West Highland Way to raise funds is my way of helping to make a difference.”
Keen hiker, Peter, who begins a degree in Environmental Science and Geography at Dundee University in September, will be accompanied by 10 friends on the 150 kilometre hike. Completely self-sufficient and carrying all their own provisions and equipment, they aim to complete it in six days, culminating with the ascent of Ben Nevis on August 10.
Catherine Arkley, chief executive of CLDF, commented: “We are the UK’s leading charity dedicated to fighting all forms of liver disease in children.
“We do this by providing an information hub both for health professionals and the general public, supporting families like Peter’s, helping to fund vital research and acting as the voice for people of all ages affected by childhood liver disease.
“It is always heartening to see a young person who feels they have benefitted from our support and wants to raise funds for us so we are truly grateful that Peter has chosen to do the West Highland Way for us and hope he thoroughly enjoys the experience.”
You can support Peter’s West Highland way hike by visiting www.justgiving.com/Peter-Vannet.
Formed in 1980, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is a unique national charity dedicated to fighting all liver diseases of childhood.
Based in Birmingham, it is:
l a comprehensive information hub for healthcare professionals and the general public.
l a tailored support service for young people with liver disease and their families.
l the lead charity supporting medical research into all aspects of children’s liver diseases.
l the voice for young people, their families and adults diagnosed with liver disease in childhood.
For further information please visit www.childliverdisease.org or call 0121 212 3839.