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Freya's Story

Sally, a Senior Recruitment Consultant at Venatu, was scrolling through Facebook one day when a post caught her eye. It was about a little girl called Freya who was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain) in September 2018, when she had her first brain surgery. Freya also has a supercella cyst and other medical conditions, all which affect her daily life.

Touched by what she read; Sally wanted to do something to help. She raffled off a bottle of Tanqueray gin for £1 per strip in the office and used the money raised to buy a Doncaster Rovers shirt. Venatu Recruitment Group has a long-standing relationship with the Rovers: our Doncaster office is based in the Keepmoat Stadium and our Head of Engineering, Ricky Ravenhill, was once a Rover himself. As a result, Sally was able to get the shirt signed by the team, making a fantastic gift that could then be auctioned by Freya’s mother, Amy, to raise money for SHINE.

SHINE (which stands for Spina Bifida – Hydrocephalus – Information – Networking - Equality) is the charity that continues to support Freya and provides specialist advice for the families and sufferers of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Spina bifida means ‘split spine’ and is a fault in the development of the spinal cord and surrounding bones (vertebrae). Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid on the brain, resulting in a range of physical and cognitive effects. 70-90% of children born with spina bifida will get hydrocephalus.

From a very young age, Amy knew something was not right with her daughter, but frustratingly Freya was consistently misdiagnosed by medical professionals. It wasn’t until she was 6 years old, and held back a year in school, that doctors finally agreed to an MRI scan. The scan revealed Freya was suffering from extreme pressure in her head and had a cyst the size of a tennis ball. She was rushed to have brain surgery within the week. The surgeon believes the hydrocephalus was there from birth and if left undiagnosed, would have been fatal.

Freya is a very brave little girl and continues to fight her battle daily. Her immune system has been badly affected: she now suffers from occasional seizures and her temperament has shifted from a happy-go-lucky little girl to sudden outbursts of anger. As you can imagine, this has a huge impact on not just Freya, but the lives of her parents and 4 brothers and sisters. Amy has found SHINE to be a fantastic support and wants to continue to raise awareness for both the charity and Freya’s story.

In January 2019, Amy set a target to raise £3000 for the year, which she has surpassed from doing things such as a skydive (even though she is scared of heights!) and auctioning off donated items through her Facebook page. She is now hoping to reach £4000 by the end of the year.

Venatu Recruitment Group were touched by Freya’s story and we will continue to support her cause. We ask you to give what you can to a brave little girl and thank you for your support. If you’d like to donate to Freya’s JustGiving page (all donations are passed on to SHINE) you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lastfundraiserof2019

Amy is auctioning the Doncaster Rovers shirt from her Facebook page for £5 per raffle ticket: https://www.facebook.com/freyafundraising.dawson.1

Find out more about SHINE and the work they do at https://www.shinecharity.org.uk/

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Posted: 20 November 2019

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