A LITTLE boy who spent his childhood taking countless tablets, medicines and knowing he would need a liver transplant is determined to show how far he has come as young man.

Zak Durrani, 24, was born with a rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and received a life-saving transplant when he just eight years old.

"From the day I was born, my mum knew there was something not right with my health and she kept persisting, along with my dad, to get a diagnosis, which eventually confirmed that I had biliary atresia and would one day need a liver transplant," said Mr Durrani.

“My entire childhood consisted of having to take a wide range of medicines and tablets around the clock.

"I would be regularly encouraged to eat healthy foods to boost my immune system. Of course, at the time, I couldn’t fully appreciate or understand the tireless commitment it must have taken from my parents to keep me alive and well.

"Looking back, I know it is because of their love and determination, alongside the continued support from the amazing staff at King's College Hospital in London, that I am here today."

The web developer, from Ingleby Barwick, always knew he wanted to give something back and decided to fulfill a long-held ambition to complete the Great North Run, running in aid of the Children's Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

Cruelly, after overcoming so much even before becoming a young adult, Mr Durrani lost his mother to ovarian cancer in June last year.

He knew then that he wanted to support those who had helped him more than ever, in the same way that his mother had all her life.

Mr Durrani added: "Obviously, Target Ovarian Cancer is now a cause which is so important to me which is why for all of the donations I receive on my sponsorship page for CLDF up until the day of the run, I will personally match and donate to Target Ovarian Cancer.

“I’m really looking forward to the day knowing that I will be doing something for other young people who have been in my situation. I’ve been training hard – I’m lucky to have friends who have supported me and helped me to get prepared."

To donate to Mr Durrani's Great North Run challenge, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/zak-durrani

*Don’t miss The Northern Echo on Tuesday, September 11 for a special souvenir pull-out featuring Great North Run results from our readership area and pictures of the big day.