Well I have done some events in my time and a lot for charity, however, nothing has compared to the last few weeks, where the whole of my local community has literally dropped everything and rallied around in support of an amazing 2 year old little girl Freya Bevan who has a rare PPNET brain tuma, which cannot be treated in the UK. The proton beam treatment Freya needs is only available in the US and costs £250k, which our NHS have refused to fund. This decision is absolutely appalling and the family feel they have given Freya a death sentence. I personal train Freya’s mum Katherine and seeing first hand, what this poor family were going through absolutely broke my heart. I wanted to do all I could do help raise the money needed for Freya’s treatment.
This horrendous news ignited a fire in the hearts of the people of Neath, who immediately came together to raise funds to ensure Freya would get the treatment she needed. Fundraising events were being organised in the area, and one I am very proud to say I was a part of the Freya Bevan Run from Cardiff to Neath. This was organised by local charity events organiser Carl Bradley of Elite Charity Signings Wales. Carl along with 5 other very brave and admirable runners Aaron McCalmon Donna Pascoe, Debbie Garner, Darren Vaughan and Andrew Jones.
The day itself was unbelievable, so emotional and unlike anything I have been a part of before. I supported the runners all the way from warming them up at the start line, to warm down at the finish line, and also travelling beside them on a minibus the whole way, stopping every few miles to fuel and hydrate them. I was also be on hand for any need of first aid and to just be there will them through the gruelling 30 plus miles…………what a team!!
These guys and gals are now my new heroes, the weather was horrendous, they were cold, wet, and exhausted as well as two of them picking up injuries along the way, BUT they were warriors all the way through and completed the distance in just over 8 hours. The journey was amazing, being there with them the whole way and feeling their pain, also feeling helpless at some points , but just being there to support, motivate and encourage them.
The support along the way was great too, we had friends and family at different points cheering our incredible runners on and even picked up some local celebrities along the way to complete the final miles with them. This was a massive help as this lifted their spirits totally. However the best part and what made everyone feel so proud of what they had achieved was when they crossed the finish line at Neath Rugby Club to see little Freya’s big smiling face and knowing that we were all working hard to give her a chance at life was completely overwhelming.
The crowds at Neath Rugby Club offering their support was amazing too, the clubhouse was packed and we ensured there was entertainment for the whole family to enjoy while they were waiting for the runners to come back, and gosh what an amazing welcome they had.
I am so proud to be a part of such a caring community. When a family is in desperate need of help and support, everyone has pulled together as an incredible team and done all they can to help. This is how we should all always be in our lives as it’s one life we have. Being nice, loving, caring and helping others is so important.
Luckily little Freya is now in the US about to start her treatment, all thanks to the awareness created by the community. Dr Chang of Oklahoma has contacted the family to insist on treating her immediately. This is such amazing news and we wish them all the very best of luck as well as wishing to see them all home safe and sound, with Freya on the road to recovery very soon.
To donate to help fund Freya’s treatment please go to www.gofundme.org/freyabevan_fund
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