2nd Mar, 2021

For Finlay - Alvechurch family back campaign to find brain tumour cure

Harry Leach 23rd Feb, 2021

PARENTS devastated over the loss of their son to brain tumor are backing a petition calling for greater investment on curing the deadly disease.

Alvechurch boy Finlay Church was diagnosed in 2014 with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive type of brain tumor.

Despite surgery and gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, he died just 17 months later aged 11.

To mark the fifth anniversary of his death, Finlay’s mum Penny and dad, Wayne, along with his brother and sister  are urging the government to increase brain tumour research investment to £35million a year.

The family has worked with charity Brain Tumour Research to create a video urging people to sign the petition.

The charity says just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

Penny, 47, said: “Fin was our angel, right from the moment he was born – there was always something special about him.

“He was confident and would try anything. He had immense inner strength and calmness.

“We were horrified to discover his symptoms could be those of a brain tumour and when the diagnosis came, we were devastated.

“We fought as hard as we could for Fin, but were sickened to learn that the treatment for brain cancer is antiquated and barbaric, as cruel as the disease itself.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and yet only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to its research.

“It makes me feel so angry and frustrated; I urge everyone to sign Brain Tumour Research’s petition to end this dreadful injustice.”

During his illness, Finlay remained determined to do what he could.

He raised more than £100,000 for Brain Tumour Research and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, earning him the title of ‘Child of Courage’ at the Pride of Birmingham Awards and ‘Young Fundraiser of the Year’ at the Midlands Child of Courage Awards.

He also became a world record holder for the number of teddy bears in a line – 15,534 – and took part in clinical trials to test how effective treatments for other conditions might be against brain tumours.

When Finlay died, the family donated his brain for medical research to help scientists understand more about the disease.

Penny added: “We can never make sense of what has happened to us but we can try to make a difference for somebody else.”

The charity and the family are aiming to get 100,000 signatures in March, which is national Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Visit https://www.braintumourresearch.org/campaigning/brain-tumour-research-petition to sign the petition.

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