Nine-year-olds handwritten note asking businesses to help light up street in memory of best friend

PUBLISHED: 16:47 03 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:24 04 November 2019

Finnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork

Finnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork


A nine-year-old who lost his best friend to cancer has written a heartbreaking letter appealing to businesses to “light up the street” with Christmas lights, in his memory.

Finnbar Cork, aged five, of Hethersett, who is battling a brain tumour. Pictured in May 2016 in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.Finnbar Cork, aged five, of Hethersett, who is battling a brain tumour. Pictured in May 2016 in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Freddie Ketley, from Hethersett, had been friends with Finnbar Cork since they were babies.

Born on the same street, in the same month and in the same class at school, the pair were close friends for many years.

But a couple of months after his fifth birthday, Finnbar began to feel ill, and was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, which eventually ended his life in August 2016.

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Following his death, his parents Tristan and Claire Cork founded charity Finnbar's Force, which raises money for children with brain tumours and lends support to families battling the disease.

In a post on the charity's Facebook page, Tristan shared a copy of a heartfelt letter, written by Freddie, who is now nine, requesting that businesses in Hethersett light up the street to support the latest appeal by Finnbar's Force,

In the handwritten letter, the nine-year-old writes: "This charity is really important and close to my heart because Finnbar was my best friend since I was a baby… I miss Finnbar every day. To light up our street we need as many Christmas lights as we can. Please help us make it SPECTACULAR so we can raise lots of money for Finnbar's Force."

The nine-year-old has proposed a special light switch-on event, to be held on December 1, in Hethersett, and has asked for donations to be sent to Finnbar's Force.

Tristan Cork, who has dedicated years to raising awareness of childhood brain tumours, said: "Finnbar and Freddie played together outside in our close and when Finnbar was poorly, Freddie came to see him at Addenbrooke's and the EACH Quidenham hospice. He wanted to write this heartfelt letter to appeal to local businesses to help us light up our street this Christmas in memory of Finnbar. If your business can help, please contact us at or if you would like to make a donation, please visit the fundraising page."

So far the appeal has raised £455 of the 1,000 target.

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