THE PARENTS of brave Finlay Church who lost his battle with a brain tumour in December at the age of 11 have released his final letter in a bid to raise awareness of the condition he had.
The letter, where Fin described how he was feeling shortly before he died, was published as part of Brain Tumour Research Month which began this week.
Fin started the letter, which he dictated to family friend Claire Whitehead, while looking through family photos, by introducing himself and explaining he wanted to write the letter to express how he was feeling.
In the heart-breaking account, he spoke about how he was bored and fed up of feeling in pain every day.
“I feel tired and have pain in my muscles and I’m fed up with being fat” – a reference to his weight gain caused by his extensive treatment.
The letter also showed Fin’s determination and how he never, even towards the end, lost his sense of humour.
“At this point in my letter I would like to say chop chop to my mother to bring my tea.”
He expressed his love for the family dog Rico, his brother Mackenzie and sister Tegan, his dad Wayne and his mum Penny who he praised for all the help she had given him, describing her as ‘the best mum in the world’.
He also talked about the thousands of pounds he and his family raised for Brain Tumour Research and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The cash, more than £100,000 in total, was collected from numerous fund-raisers, including Operation Teddy Bear which saw Fin organise and inspire the longest ever line of teddy bears in Alvechurch, his home village.
Bears were sent in from far and wide and the final total, 15,534 bears long, is an official Guinness World Record.
On his illness, Fin wrote: “Now to the poo side of cancer. The rubbish side is the drugs and feeling so crap. I’m a bit scared of losing the fight. I hope I don’t.”
The letter’s conclusion showed Fin’s unbelievable resillience.
“When I grow up I want to be the best armed policeman that Birmingham has ever had.
“I want to help my local area to say thank you for all their support and generosity.”
Fin’s family will be working with Brain Tumour Research throughout March to highlight important issues surrounding brain tumours which, despite receiving less than one per cent of cancer research spending, kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Brain Tumour Research is holding a Wear A Hat Day on March 24, encouraging people at schools and workplaces across the country to wear a hat and organise hat-themed events to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
A spokesperson for the charity said: “Wear A Hat day sends a message of hope, solidarity and support for patients and families like the Churchs who have been affected by this devastating disease.”
Visit www.braintumourresearch.org or call 01908 867200 for more information.
A donation of £5 can be made by texting the world HAT to 70660.