This is Freddie’s story.
Freddie, 15, is just one of the estimated 30,000 children born with cerebral palsy in the UK every year. The condition, which affects the brain and causes difficulty with movement, posture and co-ordination, can affect children in many different ways.
But, Freddie is determined not to let this debilitating condition stop him from achieving his dreams of playing football, ideally at The Den, which is home to his beloved Millwall FC.
Since he was a young child, Freddie’s family had been taking him three times a year to a centre 100 miles away for unique and intensive physiotherapy involving a piece of equipment called the ‘spider’.
Deanne, Freddie’s Mum said: “Freddie was making great progress and it soon became clear that if there was a centre nearer home where he could get more regular treatment it could be transformative.”
So Freddie’s family and friends came together, fundraised and in 2015 the Freddie Farmer Foundation was born. Wooden Spoon provided a £25,000 donation towards the Spider Therapy suite, which since its opening, has helped over 70 children and young people like Freddie.
Striving to reach goals
The charity’s Centre Manager, Karen said: “Our equipment and therapists can have a big impact on a child’s confidence. A lot of the people that visit us generally have problems with their balance and worry about falling and hurting themselves, but time at the Centre helps them to have trust in what they are capable of and to reach their full potential.”
Freddie, who visits the Centre at least once a week for treatment, said: “I work hard with my physio to achieve my goals. We raise the bar all the time so I can achieve my dreams and continually do more and more. I can now stand for small periods at a time and kick a football with my brother and my dream is to play a match with him and win.
“It’s so fantastic that not only has the Centre helped me, it has helped so many other children and their families. Physio can be really hard work, but our physios make it fun and the equipment here gives us so much more support. I just wish there were more centres like this for disabled children up and down the country.”
The Freddie Farmer Foundation has expanded rapidly since 2015, as it now offers on-site accommodation for a family, and new equipment. This is an extension which will benefit both those in need of physiotherapy and their loved ones for years to come.
If you would like to give a gift from your family to another, please make a donation today.