Inpsired by little Freddie McDonald - fundraisers take on Three Peaks Challenge

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A toddler who has a daily struggle with a rare chronic liver disease has inspired family and friends to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Freddie Jack McDonald was diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome at just six months old, a condition which affects just one in 100,000 people.

Since the diagnosis, his family and friends have dedicated their time to raising money and awareness for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation which funds crucial research on childhood liver disease and supports affected families.

Inspired by the bravery of Freddie, now aged 21 months, a party of 44 joined together to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday, May 17.

Mum Emma McDonald, said: “When we found out just over a year ago that Freddie had chronic liver disease and would need life-long medication, it was a really hard time – it still is, seeing him struggle every day with the syndrome and with its side effects.

“But we have turned it around into something positive, by doing all we can to help the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation to support as many affected children and their families as possible.

“Our fundraising is almost like a coping mechanism; it gives us something positive to focus on and it is overwhelming to receive so much support.

“The Three Peaks challenge went much better than we anticipated and the weather turned out beautiful, too.

“We had been training in wind, rain, hail and shine to tackle each of the peaks individually and we knew how tough it was so we were definitely nervous to put all three together. But it was a wonderful atmosphere seeing everyone inspired by Freddie and really determined to complete the challenge.

“There was a real sense of camaraderie throughout and it was a feeling of euphoria and achievement when we crossed the finish line.”

The sponsored hike raised more than £11,000 and, alongside previous events including a charity sky dive, has led to Freddie’s family and friends raising a total of £24,357 in his name.

Freddie’s family will be continuing their fundraising in coming months with a ladies night in Rothwell on July 10 and will also be taking on the Great North Run in September.

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