In March 2020, four days before the first national COVID lockdown was announced, Finley (Finnie for short), was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. He was admitted to Addenbrooke’s children’s oncology ward for three years of intense and gruelling treatment, beginning with Chemotherapy.
Finnie’s mum Kellie recalls:
“Finnie’s diagnosis was the news that no family should ever have to face. It was particularly hard coping with it during a pandemic and in lockdown. Extended periods of isolation, separation from family and friends and the constant COVID cloud placed enormous strain on us as a family of four.
“The unstinting kindness and support of friends, family and colleagues helped us get through and continues to sustain us. We feel very blessed to be surrounded by such love.
Because Finnie enjoys swimming and playing football, he took the decision to have a portacath fitted, which enabled him to continue with his favourite hobbies and activities during treatment.
“His strength and determination to fight this cruel disease is our inspiration,” says Kellie. “Together with the love of his superstar sister, Isla, we believe they can face anything. The special bond they have developed is truly remarkable.
“Finnie’s diagnosis has taught us so much and changed us as a family. We no longer take things for granted – not every family affected by childhood cancer is able to bring their child home from hospital. This has given us a new perspective on life and grief.”
“Childhood cancer changes a family forever, but the support of charities like Cancer Support UK have helped to brighten Finnie’s hospital stays.
“Finnie loves painting, drawing and puzzles. So the Kid’s Kit you sent him was fantastic, as it contained lots of practical things to keep him busy and take his mind off treatment. The puzzle book is filled with lots of popular children’s games – a great way to keep the brain stimulated, while having fun.
“As Finnie is an avid reader, the animal bookmark, with its little furry friend on the top, has been particularly useful.
“However, his favourite item is the pair of cosy Minion socks, which has helped to keep his toes warm and snug. We keep them in his hospital bag ready for admission.
“Finnie’s prognosis is good and we are hopeful that in May 2023, he will ring the bell to signify the end of his treatment.”
For a child with cancer, the arrival of a Kids’ Kit is a huge boost. And you can choose the items you want to fund – £1 could fund a puzzle book, £2 for cosy socks to keep little feet warm, or £10 for a warmable bunny to help comfort a distressed child with cancer. Visit our website to see what else you can choose.
The kindness of supporters brought a much-needed smile back to Finnie’s face when he needed it the most. If you can, please donate today – every pound helps to make a difference to someone with cancer, like Finnie.