A Chingford 23-year-old is running the London Marathon to raise funds for a charitable cause dear to her best friend's family.

Jodie Haggerty Howard, an archaeologist and marathon debutante, hopes to fundraise at least £2,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) at the event on April 21.

Olivia Wheatley - Jodie's best friend since Sixth Form at Davenant Foundation School, Loughton - suggested the charity race on behalf of her sister Aliyah, a beneficiary of CLDF's vital support after being born with a liver disease.

Epping Forest Guardian: Jodie and AliyahJodie and Aliyah (Image: Children's Liver Disease Foundation)

Jodie said: "Although I knew that Olivia’s younger sister had been born with a liver disease, it wasn’t something I thought much about.

"It wasn’t until she needed a liver transplant in 2021 that I understood the true gravity of her condition.

"Olivia told me about the support which CLDF had always given to Aliyah and her parents."

Aliyah benefitted from the charity's comprehensive online platform to research her condition, what to expect from a liver transplant list, and life with a new liver.

This resource was coupled with trips such as CLDF Breakaway, offering wild camping, bushcraft, and a network of friendships with other young people with liver conditions.

Epping Forest Guardian: Jodie Haggerty Howard is running the London Marathon for CLDFJodie Haggerty Howard is running the London Marathon for CLDF (Image: Children's Liver Disease Foundation)

Jodie added: "She’s now doing really well and thriving as a first year child nursing student.

"Her family want this support to be available to anyone in this situation which is why, when Olivia spotted an opportunity to run the London Marathon to raise funds for CLDF, she filled in the application form on my behalf."

Despite hesitations about the scale of the marathon challenge, Jodie is relishing her training regime and looking forward to race day.

"Olivia and Aliyah will be there with the rest of their family and alongside mine, screaming at the top of their lungs every time I run past.

" have especially assigned Olivia with the task catching me at as many check points as possible and being my water/electrolyte pit stop."

To boost Jodie's fundraising effort, you can donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/Jodie-Haggerty-Howard.

Further information on CLDF can be accessed at childliverdisease.org.