Mum's festive charity boost in Doncaster Freya's name

A Doncaster mum has not given friends and family Christmas cards this year - and will instead donate £100 to charity.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 1:57 pm
Freya McBride, of Doncaster, with her mum Joanne. Freya was one of the youngest people in the country to be diagnosed with rare Kawasaki disease at two-months-old.

Joanne McBride has given the £100 she would normally spend on festive well-wishes to the Cosmic Kawasaki Disease Research fund, in the name of her 20-month-old daughter Freya.

Freya suffers from Kawasaki disease, a rare condition which causes blood vessels to become inflamed.

Joanne said:“Research to find the cause of this disease and develop a diagnostic test costs thousands, but every little bit counts.

“I would rather see my money go towards helping other children than on cards that will end up in the bin a week after Christmas.

“Any money that is received by the fund is doubled due to a matching grant from the Macklin Foundation, so my donation will be worth £200.”

Freya was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, which can prove fatal if left untreated, at two-months-old and is thought to be the youngest person in the country to have the illness.

The condition is so rare, doctors are still unable to tell the mum-of-three exactly how it has affected her youngest child - although they do know that her arteries are becoming narrower.

Joanne said: “We have been in discussions for months about Freya undergoing a cardiac catheter angiogram, where a thin tube is inserted into her groin, and fed up to her heart to release a contrast dye so that we can obtain pictures of the inside of her coronary arteries.

“A decision has been made to wait for a year until Freya is a bit bigger and the risks are a bit smaller.

“Until she has the procedure we don’t really know what is going on inside her heart, or what is causing the narrowing of her arteries, so it is still an unknown future and we just hope that she is a little miracle.

“She takes aspirin daily to prevent blood clots which could cause a heart attack without medication. We have been told that 80 per cent of children with giant coronary aneurysms as a result of Kawasaki Disease will require intervention later in life, for example bypass surgery.

“We are hoping Freya is one of the lucky ones.”

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds her future, Freya has been enjoying the festive season with her family including older siblings Eliza, 12, and Finlay, seven.

“We took Freya to see Santa for the first time earlier this month and she was captivated. I think she will enjoy all the presents this year as she is more aware.

“She is developing well and is running around and chatting all the time. She’s also a very mischievous little girl. To look at her, you would have no idea that she was so critically ill last year,” said Joanne.

Search for Freya’s Story on Facebook or @Freya_Story on Twitter for more information. To donate to the research fund, and search Joanne McBride