Having spent a lot of time in kids waiting rooms with our awesome warrior Finn we know how important it is that kids are kept happy. Finn was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour in 2013 when he was just a happy and healthy five year old, apart from some strange headaches. On the 12th of December Finns MRI scan started our journey and FINNSARMY was born.
Happier kids mean happier parents, sadly many of the waiting rooms in hospitals in Cornwall are underfunded and lack facilities.
Having installed Ipad mini libraries in hospitals throughout Cornwall we felt this is something more that we could do, create spaces where kids and their parents want to be at a difficult time. We are currently overhauling our first waiting room at Camborne Redruth (Barncoose) hospital and are so excited by the work so far. We want to continue our work at Treliske and have been welcomed with open arms to help them make a change, a change they simply cannot afford to do.
We will install retro games tables (multiple games), TV and dvd players, interactive fun wall mountable games and fun fairground style mirrors. We will make sure there is super funky, Super comfy seating and where necessary repaint the space.
Our current Project is very close to being completed, all the funding is in place and work is underway thanks to our very generous business sponsors who will be having their names and logos linked to the first FINNSARMY FUN ROOM for years to come .
Finnsarmy needs your help, the kids need your help. Finnsarmy is run entirely by volunteers, they give up their time freely and don’t even ask for expenses.
FroalaEvery penny you kindly give is guaranteed to go straight to help the kids of Cornwall.
Our NHS is struggling, we need to make it better for our kids.
Cornwall have done us and the kids of Cornwall so proud. Dig deep and help us change some more of our lovely KERNOW for the better.
After our first fundraiser back in 2014 our big charity auction night hosted by the KERNOW KING , we raised enough CASH to purchase and install FINNSARMY first iPad mini lending library on one of the children’s wards at treliske, with 10 iPad minis and secure charging cabint. It was all such a success that it quickly snowballed into almost 40 iPad minis spread across CORNWALL in various hospitals and with medical community outreach teams. This expansion was again funded by great generosity of cash and time in organising FINNSARMY BIG FUN DAY at Redruth rugby club and FINNSARMY COMEDY NIGHT at heartlands.
These iPads are doing great things every day from distracting kids from essential but horrible, painful procedures. To enabling kids in isolation wards to have Skype contact with family and friends and play online games with them. The main aim of their use is to try and make the never ending boredom that hospital stays often bring a little more easy and fun.
After the ipads our attention turned to the lack of working TVs across the children’s wards, with the help of Finnsarmy we soon had that problem sorted and delivered TV/DVD’s making sure every room in both childrens wards had a TV to watch for FREE.
From the very beginning of our journey stuck in hospital in Bristol over Christmas 2013, we have had some unbelievable help and support from family and friends. More surprising was the support we had coming from directions we just never expected. Businesses, normal people who never met us, even a few celebrities have pitched in their support for Finnsarmy.
CORNWALLS very own KERNOW KING has been a fantastic supporter of Finnsarmy from the very beginning.
People all over CORNWALL either personally or part of a club or organisation, raise CASH for Finnsarmy all the time. It always blows us away when we get contacted out of the blue from another big hearted stranger.
Finnsarmy began in 2014 inspired by Finn who was then 5. On the 12th December 2013 our lives were shattered when we got heard the words no parent should ever have to hear. That our beautiful, cheeky, kind, funny son had a brain tumour and it was serious, serious enough that we were immediately on our way for him to have life-saving surgery at Frenchay hospital in Bristol.
More shocking as the lil dude they were talking about was racing up and down the ward taking everyone’s vitals without a care in the world. It just couldn’t be true.
It was and our new lives began that night. Two days later Finn underwent surgery, it was very tricky and he nearly died on the table, when we got him back he was on life support and we had no idea what was going to happen.
Over the next few days Finn really struggled to stabilise, keeping the fantastic medical staff and mum and dad busy night and day. Christmas came and went with Finn still very poorly and not wanting to engage in any way with Christmas, this was heartbreaking and one of the worst days.
HOWEVER from Boxing Day thing really started turning around, he had the last of his tubes taken out and he was free, and ready for a bit of Christmas. He was out of the woods and just left to recover from the effects of the operation to remove the tumour. These were extensive, he couldn’t talk,focus his eyes, sit up, walk or eat. Finns humour returned quickly though and carried him through the steps to recovery quickly.
On New Years Eve we headed home after a serious amount of organising care and rehab back in Cornwall, that ‘WELCOME TO CORNWALL’ sign never looked so good.
Once Finn was home his progress was obvious daily, he went from wheel chair to wobbling all over the place on his own two feet in a matter of weeks And continued until he actually competed in his school sports day that year, fell in the sprint but got back up and finished.
Finn will have regular brain scans for the rest of his life to check everything is ok. In early January 2015 we had scan results we dreaded, Finns tumour was growing back and this time it was way too dangerous to operate. We left telling Finn until we had a plan of action, the day we told him, as ever he took the news in his stride, confident the doctors would sort him out.
Treatments were scary, we turned down standard radiotherapy and chemotherapy after looking into possible side effects. We were then offered proton beam therapy in Florida USA, and gamma knife surgery. After lots of talking between us and the medical professionals we decided on the gamma knife for lots of reasons but mainly that it was less harmful to Finns developing brain and it was a one off one hour treatment and home the same day. The down side was Finn had to have a metal frame screwed to his skull, which would hold him perfectly still attached to the gamma knife machine. The funding came through from government the morning of the procedure as it was not covered on the NHS. Finn took it all in his stride as always, even having the screws taken out of his skull while awake and playing his iPad. Just to keep us on our toes finn also broke his leg just below the knee a short time before his treatment #YOLO he says.
Every scan since Finns gamma knife treatment have shown shrinkage in his tumour, he’s also been lucky not to have bad side effects from his treatment.
We don’t know what’s in Finn's future, what we do know is to live each day as it comes, for that day. Today Finn is fit, healthy and well, and we can ask no more than that.
THANK YOU TO THE BUSINESSES BELOW WHO HAVE ALL PLEDGED AT BRONZE LEVEL OR HIGHER!