Meet our Superheroes | Freddy-Rae
7 Mar 2020, 3:47 p.m.
Recently, nine patients undergoing treatment for cancer worked with Superhope, and by using the power of their imagination, they each had the opportunity to bring to life their inner superhero.
Every Saturday, we will be spotlighting one of our superheroes and their amazing stories of courage and resilience. This #SuperSaturday, meet Freddy-Rae, aka SuperFR.
When Freddie-Rae was four years old he started complaining of a sore leg. His mum, Alice, explains: “he wasn’t eating as much as he usually would and he was really tired. We took him to the doctors who thought it might be his appendix.”
After taking Freddie to their local hospital for a scan, doctors soon discovered he had a tumour in his stomach.
He was then taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) where more tests were carried out. Freddie-Rae was given the diagnosis of neuroblastoma in August 2018 soon after he arrived at GOSH. “It was such a big shock – it was something you read about in the newspaper and never think will happen to you. Even when Freddie was unwell, I never even thought it would be his appendix, let alone cancer.
“We arrived on the Tuesday and he had already started chemotherapy by the Saturday. He was sedated for scans, he had a biopsy and had a Hickman line fitted. It all happened so quickly,” Alice remembers. “It was a big shock but he’s handled it so well. That’s why I’m so positive about everything, because he is.”
A real-life superhero
As Freddy-Rae is normally quite confident, Alice explains that: “he lost a lot of his confidence with the treatment but he always classes himself as a superhero as he’s so strong and brave.” So, it was only fitting that Freddy-Rae took part in Superhope – designing and becoming the superhero that he truly is. “It’s really great that he got to do Superhope because it fitted so well with everything.”
Alice was surprised at how well Freddy took to creating and designing his own superhero. He based his costume on the superheroes he sees everyday. “He plays Fortnite,” explains Alice, “so some of his inspiration for his costume came from the Fortnite characters, mixed together with Spiderman!
“He was so excited when he got to put his costume on and do all the photos. I was worried that maybe the outcome would be different to how he imagined but he absolutely loved it! He was so happy with it, it fitted perfectly when he put it on and it meant he was so confident during all the pictures.” As he’s usually shy around new people, Alice was amazed by how fearless he was. “He really enjoyed it and still wears his superhero costume at home!”
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him
Looking back on her whole family’s Superhope experience, Alice adds:
“I think Superhope is brilliant because it gives patients like Freddy something fun to do – he got to design his own costume, now that’s so cool! It gives them a boost because they have something to look forward to, it’s something so exciting and they can just enjoy themselves. To do something like this was once in a lifetime for him.
“It was just a great day. Everyone was so nice and welcoming to all of us, but especially to Freddy. He obviously felt comfortable with everyone, he was confident and really enjoyed it which made us happy.
“Freddy’s little sister also got an opportunity to get involved by getting in the pictures as well. They both became the face of Superhope on the hospital posters. Freddy thinks he’s famous now – he’s so happy.”