Woodhall Spa mum talks about son’s progressive illness

Freddy playing in the snow. EMN-180313-150648001
Freddy playing in the snow. EMN-180313-150648001

A devoted mum has spoken of the ‘overwhelming support’ she has received since her four-year-old son was diagnosed with a progressive condition.

Emma Cerklewicz is mother to Freddy who until December last year was able to live a happy and healthy life.

All smiles as Freddy doesn't let his condition stop him! EMN-180313-150508001

All smiles as Freddy doesn't let his condition stop him! EMN-180313-150508001

A few weeks before Christmas, Emma received the devastating news that Freddy has a life-limiting illness.

He was diagnosed with Becker/Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - a rare muscle wasting condition that occurs almost exclusively in males.

Actual muscle weakness tends to appear in early childhood and worsens rapidly.

Affected children may have problems sitting, standing, and walking.

Freddy Cerklewicz. EMN-180313-100439001

Freddy Cerklewicz. EMN-180313-100439001

They are usually wheelchair-dependent by adolescence.

Emma, who lives in Woodhall Spa, explained the impact it will have on her son.

She said: “As he gets older, his muscles will weaken and turn to fat.

“Eventually, he will be in a wheelchair.

Headteacher Helen Wines holding a T-shirt for Muscular Dystrophy UK. EMN-180314-131821001

Headteacher Helen Wines holding a T-shirt for Muscular Dystrophy UK. EMN-180314-131821001

“It is worrying as he is getting weaker as other children get even stronger.

“He is in his prime now, until about the age of seven.”

Emma has noticed Freddy is already suffering from the effects.

She explained: “He is complaining that his legs are hurting. He struggles with stairs and getting out of the car.”

Emma says it was ‘heartbreaking’ When she first heard about Freddy’s condition.

She added: “I was distraught. It is the worst feeling in the world, absolutely heartbreaking.”

Freddy joined the reception class at the Edward Richardson Community Primary School in Tetford last September.

Emma said: “He goes to school but is delayed with his speech and language.”

Headteacher Helen Wines was immediately ‘inspired’ by Freddy - so much so that she is doing a skydive later this year in his honour.

She said she had been thinking about doing a skydive for some time but had never found a ‘real reason’ to do it...until she met Freddy.

Ms Wines said: “Freddy is a charming, sweet-natured child and every staff member thinks the world of him.

“He’s an incredibly positive young man who always gives everything a go.

“He doesn’t turn five until July so he is one of the youngest children in the school but he’s willing to have a go at anything, even if at first it appears to be a big challenge.

“What more inspiration did I need?

“That’s why I decided it was time finally to take the plunge.”

Ms Wines is set to complete a tandem skydive in May at the Target Skysports Parachute Club near Brigg.

She said: “Like Freddy, I will face one of the biggest challenges of my life on May 6.

“I am sure by the time I reach the ground, I’ll be smiling.”

The skydive will raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Ten per cent of the money raised will go to a fund specifically for Freddy - and the remaining 90 per cent to the charity.

Emma said: “It is so overwhelming that the school wants to help.

“It means the absolute world.”

Emma and Ms Wines have set up Just Giving pages to collect donations.

• Click here to support Freddy and here to support Ms Wines.

A Facebook page has also been set up by Emma which can be found here