LITTLE Imogen Cooper was born with a rare liver condition and had to undergo life-saving surgery at the age of just five weeks.

The intervention stopped the disease, called biliary atresia, in its tracks – but four years later the youngster’s liver began to deteriorate.

It was a heart-wrenching time for her parents, Alex and Martin, as their daughter was placed on the transplant waiting list in October last year.

However, the family soon had cause to celebrate after Imogen, now five, underwent a successful transplant operation just two months later.

Now mum Alex, from Parkgate, has run the London Marathon to raise money for the charity that helped them, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

“We were lucky that we didn’t have to wait long for the transplant,” she said. “Our brave little Imogen received her transplant in December and hasn’t looked back since.

“We are eternally grateful for the gift given to us by another family at such a difficult time.

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Alex is congratulated by her husband Martin and children, eight year old Eleanor (left) and five year old Imogen.

“Children’s Liver Disease Foundation were there for me from the start with information and support following Imogen’s diagnosis and they have been there ever since.

“I know that Imogen will need them as she grows up too. They are a small charity, so I thought doing the London Marathon would be a great way of giving something back by raising much-needed funds. I even persuaded two friends to do it with me!”

Unfortunately, her friends could not join her for the race due to illness and injury, and Alex herself said she did not have the chance to train as much as she wanted.

But she remained determined to see it through and was delighted to cross the finish line on April 28.

“After all, it’s nothing compared to what Imogen has been through,” said the 36-year-old, who works as a complex needs support worker.

Chester and District Standard:

Alex on the marathon home straight.

“It was an amazing experience. Imogen was able to come down and cheer me on with her dad and her sister, Eleanor. And not only did I manage to finish in under six hours but the three of us raised over £9,000 for CLDF which we are so proud about!”

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, congratulated Alex and said she and the charity were incredibly grateful for the support.

“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,” she said.

“In order to do this however, we rely on voluntary donations, so it is fantastic to hear of Alex’s achievement. We are delighted that Imogen is doing so well and so grateful for the funds raised by Alex and her friends which will enable us to continue to support families throughout the UK who are affected by childhood liver disease.”

People can still support Alex’s London Marathon challenge by clicking here.

For more information on CLDF visit