Aunt so proud of brave little Finlay

Family pride: Finlay Kennedy.

Family pride: Finlay Kennedy.

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PROUD aunt Lyndsey Burn is rallying support for her inspirational nephew.

The 29-year-old has nominated three-year-old Finlay Kennedy for a Pride of Wearside, Child of Courage award, for his bravery in tackling a mysterious immune system condition which causes constant sickness and infection.

The three-year-old has to undergo blood infusions every week to try to combat the undiagnosed condition, and patters around his home hooked up to a drip.

Doctors at Sunderland Royal Hospital and professors at the RVI, Newcastle, who have no name for Finlay’s illness, hope the blood infusions will prevent his lungs from regularly collapsing and reduce tissue scarring.

In the past few months, the youngster has been in better health thanks to the regular treatment, though he has become poorly again over the last couple of weeks.

His parents, Leanne Burn, 27, and Fraser Kennedy, 40, of Penshaw, find it tiring battling his condition.

“He was fighting off a chest infection and tonsillitis himself,” said Lyndsey, of Moorside. “But it got too bad, and he’s on antibiotics again now.

“My sister is struggling a bit at the minute because she is disappointed he is taking antibiotics again, but Finlay never complains.”

Lyndsey, who is holding a fund-raiser at Lakeside Sports and Social Club on November 23 to highlight the rare condition and the need for more people to give blood to provide people like Finlay with treatment, said he is a “superstar”.

“He just gets on with things and continues to amaze us, despite the fact that he is so poorly,” she said.

“We just want him to get to a normal standard of health, and my sister wants a name put on the condition.

“With other diseases, at least once it’s diagnosed it’s like ‘right, it’s this illness, and this is what we can do’, but with this, there’s no name and so they don’t know how best to treat it.

“My sister cried when I nominated Finlay for the award because she was so overwhelmed, but he deserves it.

“No one can really understand what his little family is going through, and just how brave he is.”

Sunderland AFC Ladies are also holding a charity football match on Sunday, November 24 at the Hetton Centre. Entry is £3 adults and £1 for concessions. Kick-off is 2pm.

Awards to honour best of Wearside

NOW in their eighth year, the Pride of Wearside Awards recognise the kind-hearted, brave and determined.

There are 10 categories in total: Child of Achievement, Community Champion, Child of Courage, Safer Community, Sporting Achievement, Community Group, Fund-raiser of the Year, Local Hero/Role Model, Green Champion and Student of the Year.

The winners will be awarded at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on November 20.

You can make your nominations at www.sunderlandecho.com or look out for nomination forms in the paper. Today’s is on Page 16.

The deadline for entries is November 5.