Wigan tot completes 100m for 30 days to raise money for Transplant Games

A Wigan toddler is completing a mammoth fund-raising task for transplant awareness- just six months after undergoing the procedure.

16-month-old Phoebe Elliston is walking 100m a day for 30 days with the help of family and friends to raise money for the Leeds Children’s team taking part in the annual transplant games.

She began her challenge on May 4 and has just finished it.

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Born on Christmas Day in 2020, Phoebe was diagnosed with liver disease at just a month old.

Phoebe Elliston, centre, with mum Lauren Elliston, right, and grandma Debbie Souter-Matthews, left.

She has undergone two liver transplants in October. One from a deceased donor which unfortunately failed and one from her loving grandmother Debbie Souter-Matthews who donated 20 per cent of her organ.

Phoebe’s mum Lauren Elliston said: “When she was four weeks old she went yellow and then that’s when we found out.

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"Shortly after she had a couple of operations then before the transplants.

"After the transplants, we stayed in hospital and got out just before Christmas last year.

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Phoebe Elliston, centre, with mum Lauren Elliston, right, and grandma Debbie Souter-Matthews, left

"Since then she’s been doing really well.”

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The British Transplant Games is an annual event celebrating recipients and donors of transplantation.

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They aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of organ donation

Phoebe Elliston, centre with mu Lauren, right and grandma Debbie
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This year from the July 28-31, the games are being held in Leeds where Phoebe was treated.

As well as Phoebe’s challenge to help raise funds to help families get to Leeds and fund registration fees, hotel accommodation and kits, she will also be taking part in the 25m event at the games.

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Originally, her fund-raising page had a target of £100 which has been smashed with over £1000 being raised.

While the target was 100m each day, Phoebe has often been going further.

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17-month-old Phoebe Elliston with grandma Debbie Souter-Matthews

The collective distance over the 30 days was 3km which she has already surpassed.

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At the end of the challenge, Phoebe completed 6.56km – double the original target.

Lauren added: “Phoebe can’t actually walk yet she’s having to hold people’s hands.

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"The hospital sponsors the games and it’s the first year we’re actually getting to go to the games.

"Its an opportunity for the children and families to get together and do some sports as well as sharing your experiences with each other.

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"We’ve been mixing the walks up a bit where she’ll walk with different people or wear fancy-dress.

"Every day she’s smashing it, she really enjoys it.

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"Because Phoebe’s been through a lot, she’s had a lot of catching up to do so this is really helping her.

"She does way more than 100m, she usually does at least 200, it depends on how she’s feeling."

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Phoebe’s grandma Debbie said: “The games are not just for children, they are for anyone who’s had a transplant.

“Some people do need transplants to save their lives and everyone taking part is trying to their bit to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation.

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"Each year the games are hosted somewhere different and this year they happen to be in Leeds.”

To keep up to date with Phoebe’s progress visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Phoebesliverjourney

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To donate to her cause click here