Kian’s strength and fight is truly amazing

By Mary Dennehy

A MESSAGE of thanks has been sent to Tallaght from the States, after the community of Dublin 24 rallied behind a little boy diagnosed with a brain tumour – ‘despite an ocean’s distance’.

Kian Finnegan (1) lives in the States with mam Adrienne, dad Neil and big sister June.

Kian Finnegan on WhatsApp to nanny and grandad 1

Kian on a WhatsApp call to his nanny Irene and grandad Dominic

Dad Neil, who grew up in Tallaght, is a former Thomas Davis player and the son of long-time club official Dominic Finnegan.

Shortly before Christmas 2019, Kian was diagnosed with a brain tumour and began treatment in January 2020.

Over the course of 2020, Kian spent 219 nights in hospital, underwent 14 surgeries, five rounds of intensive chemo, six weeks of maintenance chemo and 30 bouts of radiation.

However, a year since his treatment began, Kian was last month deemed to be stable.

“His strength and fight is truly the most amazing thing we have ever witnessed”, mam Adrienne this week told The Echo.

Kian Finnegan and family 1

Kian with mam Adrienne, dad Neil and sister June

“Whether surgery was a success remains an open question.

“We will now watch and wait and focus on rehabilitation while hoping that nothing returns.

“Over the past year, Kian lost his ability to speak, eat, hear, sit, and move much of his body.

“He has been working extremely hard to regain function and luckily has shown improved hearing and movement and is starting to produce small squeaks of delight when his sister showers him with attention.”

The arrival of Covid-19 and a worldwide pandemic added to the family’s strain in 2020, but Kian’s resilience helped them through.

“To say Covid has made things complicated is an understatement”, Adrienne said.

“From trying to manage home nursing support and virtual therapies to understanding how many or which parent can bring Kian to the hospital, the pandemic has added a burden that sometimes feels impossible to handle.

“However, whenever we do feel overwhelmed we turn around and look at Kian.

“Somehow he always knows the right time to give us a smile or belly laugh at his sister.

“His zest for life is infectious.”

Now nearly 18 months old, Kian has been, for the most part, at home since July and is enjoying hikes with his mam, camping in the back garden with his dad and dance-offs with sister June.

He also loves helping his nanny rake the many leaves that upstate New York brings, and WhatsApp video calling his nanny Irene and grandad Dominic in Tallaght.

Over the past year, Kian’s family and freinds in Tallaght have been helping to ease the financial burden for his parents, which included Thomas Davis staging an online fundraising quiz back in early April.

Looking back over the support they have received from the community in Tallaght, Adrienne and Neil said: “We have been incredibly thankful for all of the love and support that has come our way.

“The support that has come through the #KianStrong GoFundMe has helped us to manage the many medical bills that have come our way while also allowing mom to stop working to give him the care he needs to survive and thrive.

“We are eternally humbled by the community that has come around us despite an ocean’s distance and we know we will never be the same because of it.

“We are hoping for many, many years of healing and life to come and appreciate all the well wishes and strength being sent to our #KianStrong.”

Members of the community can still support Kian and his family by donating to the Help Kian Beat Brain Cancer #KianStrong GoFundMe page.

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