‘We all felt uplifted’: Three year-old Maya with rare disease has Zoom birthday
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‘We all felt uplifted’: Three year-old Maya with rare disease has Zoom birthday

'It was such a joyful day. Maya had the best time and it would never have happened without Camp Simcha,' her mum said

Maya Freedman celebrated her birthday in style this week
Maya Freedman celebrated her birthday in style this week

A three year-old with an extremely rare kidney condition got to blow out her candles this year, with help from a Jewish charity.

Camp Simcha, which supports families affected by serious childhood illness, helped throw Maya Freedman’s My Little Pony-themed party, which was held on the video conferencing platform Zoom.

Maya, from Totteridge, was diagnosed with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome last year, a genetic condition that affects kidney function. She and her family, including her brother Zac, 4, have received support from the charity, including through transport to hospital and sibling support.

The family’s liaison officer at the charity arranged for a children’s entertainer to tune in remotely and ordered partyware, toys and cake for Maya to celebrate her birthday.

Her mum Laura Fox said reaching the milestone “felt so very important” this year. She said: “It was such a joyful day. Maya had the best time and it would never happened without Camp Simcha, because I just wasn’t in the head-space to think about how to do it.”

“These are not easy times for anyone, but I think we all felt uplifted to know that these joyful times are still possible,” she added.

Maya became very ill on a family trip to Thailand last July.  She was airlifted to hospital in Bangkok, where she spent two weeks in intensive care. Back in the UK, she spent three months at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Her mum said: “For those two weeks in Bangkok, Maya was in a critical condition. I will be forever grateful to the amazing doctors who helped her there and the team at Great Ormond Street Hospital who have cared for her since.

“It has been an incredibly tough six months for Maya, and for all of us,” she added. “Maya is still having treatment to manage the disease and we are at Great Ormond Street every two weeks, but this birthday was a very big deal for her and for us.”

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