Welcome to Alpha-1 Awareness UK, Support for people with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

AATD or Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a lack of the protein alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) which is produced in the liver. The main job of AAT is to protect the lungs. A deficiency can lead to life-threatening lung and/or liver disease.

The first signs and symptoms of lung disease caused by alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency usually appear between ages 20 and 50.
The symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath following mild activity
  • reduced ability to exercise
  • wheezing

About ten percent of infants with the deficiency show signs of liver damage at birth. Fifteen percent of adult Alphas also develop liver disease.

Only a small fraction of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficient patients in the United Kingdom are aware of the causes of their condition.

Our charity is run by non-paid volunteers who all are either affected by Alpha-1 or have a family member who is. We all have a connection to Alpha-1 and this isn’t our day job. We have a real passion for the charity and for supporting people who are affected, their families and friends.

This website was created so that people can learn more about Alpha-1 and how to get support.  We produce our own booklets which people can download and view digitally (click here) and even request that a set be sent to them in the post for free. We have a private Facebook Group where we help to support people in a safe environment. If you would prefer one on one support, then you can email us directly on ‘support@alpha1.uk‘ or use our Contacts Us Form. We care, we want to help those affected, their families and their friends. We are also proud to be the only UK charity that is donating money to go directly to the research of a cure. 

Fund raisers

We would like to thank all those that raise funds for us, without you, we would not have a charity & we would not be able to support those affected with Alpha-1 and their families.
Please help the below people by reading their stories, if you are able, please make a donation.

James Balson ~ Prague Half Marathon ~  7th April 2018

James is running his 3rd half marathon for our charity.

“I will be running the Polar Night Half Marathon in Tromso in Norway. Its my 2nd half marathon, and this one will not be easy. We are expecting subzero temperatures (could be anything between -5 to -20), and possibly running in ice, wind and snow!”

Then his 3rd race is on the 7th April. This time the Prague Half Marathon with his sister Louise.

 


Louise Balson ~ Prague Half Marathon ~  7th April 2018

Lou is running her first half marathon with her brother James. It will be at the Prague Half Marathon.

“In just over 6 months I will be running the Prague Half Marathon with my biggest brother Jamie. It’s my first half marathon, and first time running a race since my school cross country days (bare in mind that was over 20 years ago!). I’ve never trained for a race. I run a handful of times a year, when I can be bothered, and it’s only ever 3-4 miles MAX, so a smidgen of a half marathon. This won’t be an easy task for me, despite what people may think of my fitness. I am not, and never have been, a runner. My family will vouch for that!
Help support me and others less fortunate by donating what you can, and providing me with encouragement … I’m gonna need it!   “

 


British 10K Run (London) ~  15th July 2018

It is that time of year again where we are planning for the London 10K Run. We have tickets to give away for free! All we ask is that you create a Just Giving page, link it to our charity and agree to get a minimum of £200 in donations. To view more information about the race as well as apply for a ticket, click here

Roisin, Sinead & Niamh

In Niamh’s own words:

“As you are aware I have two sets of twins, Caoimhe and Cara aged two and Aodhán and Saoirse aged 3 months.

We recently found out that all four of my beautiful children have Alpha-1. I didn’t even know this lifelong illness existed until they were born! Sadly it affects their liver and lungs. Currently all four are doing really well and are defying the odds. However, having the illness means that they may need a liver transplant in their life. Initially it only affects the liver, but during adolescence and adulthood it starts to affect their lungs. This will lead to hospitalisation and they will have to live a very safe lifestyle.

If you know me then you know I am an absolute slob who enjoys nothing more than sneaking a cuddle nap in with all four of the clan! I’m running this 10K not only to raise awareness of Alpha-1 but also to get myself fit so if he worse outcomes happen, I am healthy and fit and able to look after my children to help them through the hard times. “


Danni Leadbetter ~ Skydive ~  Spring/Summer 2018

Danni is doing something amazing for our charity, her first ever skydive.

“I am completing a skydive to mark my 21st Birthday, and I am looking to do this in Spring/Summer 2018. I thought this would be the perfect time to fundraise for a cause that is very close to my heart.  I am a carrier for Alpha 1, and my brother has Alpha 1, of which this effects him greatly. Alpha 1 is a genetic condition that not many people know about and can cause serious health problems. By fundraising for Alpha 1, more research can be completed and awareness can be raised to help people with this widely unknown genetic condition.”

 


Matt Rowley ~ The Race Across Scotland 2018 ~  18th – 22nd August 2018

Matt Rowley is doing something amazing for Alpha’s. In his words:

” I am running 200 miles across Great Britain to help raise money and awareness for the charity Alpha 1 Awareness UK and the condition alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. My Mum has AATD and as a result has had two lung reduction operations to help her breath more easily and to give her a better quality of life. Without others in the past supporting research for AATD I doubt she would be with us today.”

Race Details: http://www.gbultras.com/ultra-great-britain-2018/

Paul is doing running events all through the year, you can see some photos that he has sent us here on his page.

 


Alan & Emma Wooler

Emma and Alan are very proud parents of Amber and Tyler. Tyler is PiZZ and Amber is PiMZ (just as Alan & Emma are). Alpha-1 plays a very big part in their lives and they wanted to do something to help. They visited the 2017 one to help support a fundraiser who was walking in the event and they loved what they saw.
In Alan’s own word:”We didn’t just see the event, we felt the event, the atmosphere was amazing and the staff weren’t there just for a job, they had a passion for it. We loved it so much we had to get involved so signed up to do the 2018 TrekFest as soon as they opened their website. We are walking it for all Alphas out there & have setup a team, so, if anybody wants to come join us let us know using the Contact Us page on this site.
Their team page can be found here: www.justgiving.com/teams/alphatrek

 
 

Ed Eley

Myself and my wife Torie are Personal Trainers from Bakewell, Derbyshire.
During our time personal training we met the amazing Wooler family, mainly Emma but also Tyler and Amber, after getting to know them we learned about their lives living with Alpha-1.

We want to do our bit to raise awareness for this, because like many people, before meeting the Wooler family we had never heard of this.

 


Helen Moss ~ Eastbourne Beachy Head 10K ~  27th October 2018

Emma along with some of her family have recently been diagnosed as having Alpha-1.
“After recently being diagnosed with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin, which is a genetic condition that causes lung and liver problems.
The deficiency is a lack of protein ( alpha 1 antitrypsin ) which is produced in the liver. The main job of this is to protect the lungs, the deficiency can lead to life threatening lung and/or liver disease.
I have decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone by entering the Beachy head 10k, to raise money and awareness for this charity.
Whatever you can spare will be greatly appreciated.
 


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This website is run by Alphas and their carers. We do our very best to ensure that all information shown here is up-to-date and accurate. However, you should always consult your own GP or other medical professional if you have the slightest concerns about your health.