3rd Dec, 2016

Coventry schoolgirl with rare liver disease competes in first ice skating competition

Coventry Editorial 24th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY schoolgirl who suffers from a rare liver disease has taken to the ice in her first figure skating competition.

Mollie J Duncan, from Walsgrave, laced up her skates and took part in the Coventry Figure Skating Competition.

The 10-year-old Walsgrave Church of England Academy pupil was born with biliary atresia – a rare liver disease that sees the bile ducts blocked and can cause scarring of the liver.

And despite having life-saving surgery when she was just 12 weeks old, Mollie J still requires daily medication and will need a liver transplant in the future.

The youngster’s mum, Claire said: “She has never let her liver disease stand in her way and we have always encouraged her to be as active as possible.

“It was during a family trip to Coventry ice rink that one of the coaches, Irina Kuznetsova, spotted her and suggested she take up lessons.

“Mollie J has always been shy but skating is something she really enjoys and it has boosted her confidence.

“She now goes four times a week and loves it.

“I would never have dreamt that she could do something like this. We are very proud of her.”

And despite only having taken up ice skating two years ago, Mollie J has already completed the Skate UK levels 1-8 bronze, silver and gold.

Mollie J added: “Ice skating is fun.

“You get to make new friends and competitions are exciting.

“However I do get slightly nervous just before I go on.”

Alison Taylor, chief executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) – the charity which has provided Mollie’s family with information and support, added: “It’s always inspiring to see young people who not allowed their liver disease to hold them back but have pursued something they really enjoy.

“Mollie J has done brilliantly to have reached competition standard in such a short time.

“We are really proud of her and wish her all the best for Monday.”