#ACureForFreyja: 5-year-old Freyja needs your help to cure her cancer

#ACureForFreyja: 5-year-old Freyja needs your help to cure her cancer 657 404 C-Suite Network
#ACureForFreyja: 5-year-old Freyja needs your help to cure her cancer

Amanda Smuin is a journalist and digital content creator, with a background in medicine and the arts. As a Digital Content Producer at The CEO Magazine, she writes, produces and manages content for the magazine’s digital offering.

Freyja Christiansen is just five years old. She should be enjoying her first year at school, spending her days playing, making friends and learning her ABCs. Instead, Freyja is in hospital, undergoing immunotherapy for a rare, terminal cancer.

In December last year, Lizzie Christiansen Young found a worrying lump on her daughter’s neck. It took five months and countless tests before Freyja was finally diagnosed with stage 4 cutaneous clear cell sarcoma, an extremely rare cancer with a 5% survival rate. There have been only 40 cases ever recorded worldwide.

Freyja Christiansen with mum Lizzie and sisters Brynn and Inge
Freyja Christiansen with mum Lizzie and sisters Brynn and Inge

“They really don’t know a lot about clear cell,” says Lizzie. “But what they do know is that it’s aggressive, it’s fast and it’s deadly and the probability of relapse, even if you get the cancer under control, is quite high.”

Freyja was initially given a prognosis of just 12 months, but an immunotherapy trial at Sydney Children’s Hospital has been partially successful in slowing the disease and shrinking some of the tumours. However, sarcoma experts from around the world have recommended proton therapy and surgery as her only option beyond the current trial.

Unfortunately, the treatment is not currently available in Australia, so Freyja will have to travel overseas. The family is now urgently trying to raise the $500,000 needed to fund the trip and treatment.

The MotoGP community rallies around Freyja

Luckily for Freyja, she is surrounded by a loving support network of family and friends, who are dedicated to helping her get therapy she needs. But the most surprising group rallying support for Freyja has been the MotoGP community. Teams and racers have been donating gear – break pads, full leathers, helmet visors and much more – to be auctioned off to raise money for her treatment. Lizzie explains that it came about through a connection at the girls’ school.

Freyja Christiansen

“The kids and I are from Canberra, where the kids attend Yarralumla Primary School. A family there that is strongly associated with the Yamaha team – one of the fathers works directly with the team and with Valentino Rossi – reached out to us. Their little girl plays a lot…