Wigan firefighters have tackled one of the UK’s tallest mountains to raise money for their colleague’s son, who is fighting a rare liver disease.
Otis Roscoe is only five months old but will need a liver transplant before his first birthday after being diagnosed with a life threatening disease.
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His dad Jon Roscoe, watch manager at Wigan fire station, gathered family and friends to help raise money for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation who have helped the couple since they were told their son has biliary artresia.
The 33-year-old and his wife Danielle organised a walk up Snowdon, with Jon carrying baby Otis on his back, in the hope of raising £2,500 for the CLDF.
Thanks to the help of dozens of family and friends, the couple smashed their target raising almost double the amount with at least £4,700 already given and more donations on the way.
“We are so touched by the effort our family and friends have made,” said Jon. “To make that kind of effort on a Saturday afternoon when they could have been watching the FA Cup final - it’s humbling.
“Everyone made it to the top apart from baby Otis, me and Danielle. We were just 300m shy from the top but we decided to take him down.”
The temperature soared to more than 20 degrees on the day of the climb and there was “little to no wind” on the mountain as the group ascended.
“We just couldn’t cool him down,” added the watch manager. “He’s got enough issues without making it worse and the heat was just ridiculous.”
Jon is hoping that the groups attempts will help to raise awareness of Otis’s condition and the CLDF, which provides information, support and light relief for families of children with liver disease.
Baby Otis, who was born on Christmas Eve, has been diagnosed with biliary artresia, a serious liver disease which causes bile to become blocked within the organ.
The illness, which has no known cause, occurs when the bile ducts either do not form properly or become obstructed or inflamed shortly after birth. The disease causes liver cirrhosis and eventually liver failure.
Soon after Otis was born, he developed symptoms which failed to subside. Unlike healthy babies, he is in a constant state of hunger and suffers from permanent jaundice.
In the first five months of his life, Otis has already undergone a nine-hour operation to have his gall bladder removed and to attach part of his bowel to his liver to help increase the flow of bile.
“The charity have been amazing and so supportive of us,” said Jon. “The money that we have raised now will help others. They organise weekend camping trips for children with liver disease and the information packs they give out after a diagnosis cost quite a bit per head so we hope it can go some way towards that.
“They aren’t a huge charity so we would like to help as much as we can.”
Otis will now either receive a full liver from a deceased donor or part of one of his parents’ organs although the latter option would lead to further liver transplants down the line.