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Brave Finnbar Cork from Hethersett inspires charity aimed at being ‘a new hope’ in fight against child brain tumours

PUBLISHED: 08:01 23 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:46 26 April 2017

The youngsters were dressed up in support of Finnbar's Force, a charity set up to fight brain tumours in children by the family Finnbar Cork, who died last year. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork

The youngsters were dressed up in support of Finnbar's Force, a charity set up to fight brain tumours in children by the family Finnbar Cork, who died last year. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork

Archant

He was a brave boy whose tragic death after a brain tumour touched countless hearts.

Finnbar's parents Tristan and Claire Cork hope the charity will be a new hope for other families in the fight against childhood brain tumours. Picture: EACHFinnbar's parents Tristan and Claire Cork hope the charity will be a new hope for other families in the fight against childhood brain tumours. Picture: EACH

And now the family of little Finnbar Cork, who live in Hethersett, has set up a charity to help others in the same position.

Parents Tristan and Claire Cork hope the charity - called ‘Finnbar’s Force’ because of his love of Star Wars - will be ‘a new hope’ in the fight against childhood brain tumours.

Mr Cork said: “Finnbar’s Force is the light that will shine through incredibly dark times.

“We hope that we can use his force to make things better for other families that find themselves going through similar, heart-breaking situations, and ultimately bring about an end to the evil of childhood brain tumours.”

Finnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire CorkFinnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork

A tale of love, bravery and charity

Mr Cork said they had already received more than £12,000 in donations towards the charity since Finnbar died in August last year, aged just five.

Finnbar had started to suffer dizzy spells in November 2015, and the following March he was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma - a tumour very rare in young children.

Finnbar spent a week at EACH’s Quidenham hospice after undergoing emergency brain surgery and radiotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, and his family were able to take him home in early July.

However, he soon took a turn for the worse.

Mr Cork said: “Some of the essential medications he was taking had some very nasty side effects which caused some serious complications.

“On Friday, August 5, despite having had several good days beforehand, Finnbar became very poorly and that evening we cuddled him as he slipped away from us.”

Mr Cork said they were inspired to start the charity by both Finnbar’s strength and the support already shown by the community.

He said: “The way that people came together to support us through the horrendous journey we faced was absolutely inspirational.

“The way that Finnbar fought with all his might against the death sentence he was given was equally incredible.

“These things combined have left us determined to see something good happen in Finnbar’s name and memory.”

Hopes to help others

Mr Cork said Finnbar’s Force had three main aims:

1. To support children suffering from brain tumours (especially rare/unusual presentations) and their families through: information and advocacy, including the possible funding of a specialist nurse advocate role; local support groups; facilitating better access to existing services and pushing for improvement of services where necessary; and basic financial support.

2. To support and fund research into brain cancer and potential treatments through grants to research teams and support of umbrella organisations, such as Brain Tumour Research.

3. To raise awareness of the disease and its debilitating effects and to campaign for improvements in the current standard of care and support available, as well as for more research/funding of research.

Events planned

There are several upcoming events planned to raise money for Finnbar’s Force.

-On May 4 a group of schools will hold a Star Wars-themed non-uniform fundraising day called May The Finnbar’s Forth Be With You.

-On May 19 there will be an Oscars-themed summer ball at Glen Lodge in Bawburgh. Tickets are £27. Call Natalie Brown for more details on 01603 773227.

Details of more events can be found here.

Get in touch

The website for the new charity is www.finnbarsforce.co.uk, email is finnbarsforce@gmail.com, Facebook page: facebook.com/finnbarsforce, Twitter: @finnbarsforce. Donations cannot yet be made through the website, but anyone interested in donating or finding out more can call Mr Cork on 07508 548517

READ MORE: ‘We were so lucky to have him’ - Tribute to brave Finnbar and hopes for more research in his name

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