A STEPDAD is gearing up to run the nation’s biggest marathon to raise money for a charity close to his family’s hearts.

Bricklayer Bradley Amos, 25, is going to run the London Marathon for the first time this year.

He hopes his efforts in the race will raise £2,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

It is a charity which is close to Bradley’s heart as his stepson, Ralph, was born with a rare liver disease.

The condition became so serious that seven years ago, a nearly newborn Ralph had to have a transplant.

Bradley, who lives in Halstead, said: “This charity means a lot to me and my family as my stepson Ralph was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia.

“Ralph had surgery when he was just six weeks old but, at the age of ten months, he developed cholangitis and sepsis and was put on the transplant list.

“In December 2013 Ralph received his gift of life, but needed further surgery eight weeks later.

“After ten weeks in hospital, he came home and now is a very lively and happy seven-year-old.

“Children’s Liver Disease Foundation have been there all along with information and support in what have been testing times and we know that this support will continue as Ralph grows up.

“The charity also funds research into causes and treatments for childhood liver disease and this is very important to us.”

Bradley is still planning to run the marathon despite the race being put back until October due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A keen footballer, he admits the 26.2-mile slog is set to be a challenge unlike any other he has faced before.

Bradley said: “It would mean the word to me to give something back to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, so I’m thrilled to have got a London Marathon place.

“Although I play football, I’ve never done any running events, but training is going really well.

“I’m managing to fit it in with my football training and matches and I’m aiming to finish in under four hours on the day.”

So far Bradley has raised nearly £900 but is set to push ahead with the fundraising driver over the coming months.

Alison Taylor, chief executive of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, added: “The charity 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.

“In order to do this however, we rely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted Bradley is going to be part of our London Marathon team.

“We hope his first marathon is a fantastic experience and we shall be there to cheer him along on the day.”

You can support Bradley in his London Marathon challenge by visiting justgiving.com/ fundraising/Bradley-Amos1.