BRAVE Alvechurch boy Finlay Church who has battled back from two brain tumours is back on the fund-raising trail for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Brain Tumour Research.
Fin, who has so far collected £35,000 for the cause, has raised another £2,000 from a sponsored headshave and the five senseis from Kombat Kids – the karate club he attends – are following suit to raise even more cash.
Today (Friday) an Angels Without Wings ball is being held at the beautiful Bordesley Park Wedding Venue, which has kindly been donated for free.
And although all the tickets for that have been sold, there is a fantastic online auction which runs until 8pm on Sunday (September 27).
Among the 90 lots on offer are Olly Murs’ teddy bear, a signed Chelsea Football, a two-week stay in a Florida Villa, a wine-tasting session, tickets to football matches, including Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Swansea City and Leicester City, golf, lunch and drinks for three people at the Belfry, a signed UB40 photograph and much more.
Fin’s mum Penny said: “Fin has raised £35,000 so far and we had hoped to get to £50,000 with the ball but latest estimates look like we will smash that figure.
“It has been so overwhelming – we just want to say a big big thank you to everyone who has helped us reach this magnificent total.”
In June 2014 Fin was diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumour which is rare in children.
He underwent six hours of surgery, followed by six weeks of daily radiotherapy, along with chemotherapy and a clinical trial.
After that, he had monthly chemotherapy, along with MRI scans to ensure everything was going okay.
But, on April 14, 2015, a scan revealed the brain tumour had returned and Fin was taken up to Alder Hay Hospital in Liverpool and underwent a seven-hour operation which saw 90 per cent of the tumour removed. A chemotherapy wafer was also placed in the cavity in his head to get rid of the remaining growth.
Tenacious Fin then made it back to Alvechurch in time to lay the last teddy bear to smash the Guinness World Record for the longest line of teddy bears.
After launching the project himself and receiving thousands of donations from all over the world, 15,534 were put end-to-end during the Picnic in the Park in Alvechurch. They measured in total 2,106metres (6,909ft 5.22ins).
Fin’s fight continues and he is on a new intense type of chemotherapy which sees him on it for 21 days and off for seven, leaving him feeling very tired.
Penny added: “Despite struggling with the steroids and some weight gain, he is managing to do a few hours of school most days.
“He has to use a wheelchair for longer distances now as his left hand side is weaker. The steroids also cause muscle weakness but he still has a smile on his face most of the time.
“He continues to be an inspiration to us all,” she said.
And there has been a further boost for Fin – after being named as Birmingham Children’s Hospital fund-raiser of the Year, next Friday, the 11-year-old will be up for a Pride of Birmingham Award.
Visit www.myminiauction.com/angelswithoutwingsball for more on the auction and how you can bid.
Visit www.justgiving.com/teams/finlaysjourney to boost Fin’s funds further.