St Neots teenager with serious health issues is nominated for award for his charity work

Julian Dodman. Julian Dodman.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
8:35 AM

A teenager with major health issues who helps look after his disabled brother and also gives back to a charity that supported him has been nominated for a county-wide award.

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Julian Dodman, of Fallow Drive, Eaton Socon, could be in line for a Linx Young People of the Year award, or Yopey, a competition highlighting the achievements of 10 to 25 year olds.

The 15-year-old has Erhlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and has problems with his bowel. When he became ill, Julian had to take much of Years 7 and 8 off school. His social life suffered and he still cannot do as much as other teenagers as the illness makes him very tired.

But now that he is coping, he is back at Longsands Academy and is doing a Duke of Edinburgh Award.

He also helps his mum, Rachel, and dad, Adrian, care for his 17-year-old brother Callum who has autism, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

As a result of Julian’s illness, he and his family joined Breakaway, a national charity supporting youngsters with bowel problems. Julian is now a ‘Breakaway Buddy’, helping younger children at the charity’s weekends. He also talks to families via social media, has raised money for the charity and is to give presentations on ‘life with a bladder and bowel dysfunction’ to his school.

Mrs Dodman said: “He is grabbing life with both hands rather than focusing on what he has been through and what he still can’t do.”

The awards, sponsored by St Ives industrial printers supplier Linx and, among others, LifePlus of St Neots, will be held at Ely Cathedral this autumn.

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