A dedicated mum from Gosforth has helped to raise thousands of pounds for the charity which helped her family after her son was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Jenny Mann completed the Great North Run on 11 September for children’s brain tumour charity Tom’s Trust, to help raise vital funds for the charity in recognition of the support, care and treatment her 12 year-old son Freddie has received from Tom’s Trust psychologists.
Jenny was one of 15 runners taking part in the charity’s Run for 5 campaign, which aimed to raise £5,000. The team smashed their target, raising £6,655 for Tom’s Trust, which is enough to provide psychological support to six newly diagnosed children and their families in the North East for a whole year.
Tom’s Trust provides essential psychological support to children with brain tumours and their families, and Jenny knows first-hand just how important such a service is.
Her son Freddie was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 11 months-old. Despite making a seemingly good physical recovery, Freddie has been left with long-term speech and communication difficulties.
Thanks to support from his psychologist at The Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle – funded by Tom’s Trust – he has improved greatly and had support from school and family.
Jenny, who raised £630 towards the team’s overall sum, said: : “The support we have received from Tom’s Trust has been outstanding – it’s opened a whole world to Freddie and the whole family, and we can’t thank the charity enough for providing this vital support.
“Training for and completing a half marathon felt like a challenge – but it’s nothing in comparison to the journey so many children and their families have been on. I want the world to know how amazing Tom’s Trust is and wanted to give something back.”
Debs Mitchell, Co-founder of Tom’s Trust, said: “We are so thrilled to see how much the team has raised for us and can’t thank them enough for taking part in the Great North Run. Because of the team effort of our 15 runners, we can help six more children get the vital mental health help they need.
“It’s wonderful to see how far Freddie and his family have come since receiving help from one of our psychologists, and we’d like to say a big thank you to Jenny for her fundraising and being a vital part of our Great North Run team.”
Freddie is one of Tom’s Trust Ambassadors. He was born with a brain tumour (a right-sided temporal low-grade glioma), which was discovered following a seizure at 11-months-old. The tumour grew 10 percent in less than six months and at the age of just one Freddie underwent surgery to remove 90 percent of the tumour, as removing it all would have left him paralysed on his left side. At the time it was unclear if he would recover or ever walk again, but Freddie soon became a keen sports enthusiast and grew up to be healthy and active.
Despite the positive recovery, Freddie experienced difficulties with processing language and he also struggled with memory problems. Though he can understand lots of what he hears, when language is complex it is harder for him to keep up with the conversation, which has led to periods of feeling isolated for Freddie. In 2019, he was diagnosed with a mild acquired language disorder linked to the remaining tumour.
Since then, Freddie has been helped by a Tom’s Trust psychologist who has given him the support he needs. His school and family are also being provided with information to help them communicate with him. Freddie has faced huge adversity but is always cheerful and has an incredibly positive outlook and attitude towards life.
Despite the huge hurdles Freddie has already had to face in his short life, he has shown great determination and enthusiasm for raising money for the charity which has supported him.
You can join in next year’s run for Tom’s Trust by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org