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Family donate £25,000 to find cure for disease which killed their son

PUBLISHED: 14:30 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 31 December 2019

Tristan Cork with his son, Finnbar Cork, who died in 2016 at the age of five after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan Cork

Tristan Cork with his son, Finnbar Cork, who died in 2016 at the age of five after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan Cork

Tristan Cork

Three years after losing their son to a brain tumour, a Norfolk couple have donated £25,000 to research to help find a cure for the disease.

Finnbar Cork died in 2016 at the age of five after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan CorkFinnbar Cork died in 2016 at the age of five after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan Cork

Tristan and Claire Cork, from Hethersett, set up Finnbar's Force charity after losing their son Finnbar, aged five, just five months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Despite undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, nothing could be done to save him, and Finnbar died in 2016.

Mr Cork said they are still learning to live with the pain of losing their son, but it has driven them to support other families and children with cancer.

He said: "There are good days and bad days and at Christmas we get hit quite hard. There is always someone missing. It's hard when you should have a little boy opening presents.

Tristan and Claire Cork with their daughter Nell Cork. The couple lost their son Finnbarr in 2016 after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan CorkTristan and Claire Cork with their daughter Nell Cork. The couple lost their son Finnbarr in 2016 after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Photo: Tristan Cork

"You can't stop and give up you have to find a way to keep going and that's what we have done through Finnbar's force.

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"We always said from the start when we set up the charity, we want to support research into brain tumours and would give 20pc of what we raise in a year to research projects.

"I hope it's gives other families hope and people who are going through a bad diagnosis with their child can look at us and say you can still carry on."

In the last financial year, the charity raised nearly £110,000 through sponsored events, including marathons and sky dives, donations, fundraising events like bake sales, and big events put on by Finnbar's Force, including a Christmas concert and adventure day.

A large donation of £45,000 also came from a person's final will.

The £25,000 donation to the charity Brain Tumour Research will fund the equivalent of nine days of research at Queen Mary University of London, a dedicated brain tumour research centre.

Lead researcher at the research, Prof Silvia Marino, said: "This donation from Finnbar's Force will help move results from 'bench to bedside' in the shortest possible time for the greatest benefit of patients."

Mr Cork added: "There is a lot of money we haven't used that will go to local projects.

"We are also hoping to get a few bigger projects off the ground in the next 12 months, working with local families in Norfolk effected by childhood cancer."


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