Ill Sunderland boy’s family raise £8,000 to help others

Finlay Kennedy, of Waterhouses, Elba Park, Houghton, hwo has a undiagnosed immune system condition.
Finlay Kennedy, of Waterhouses, Elba Park, Houghton, hwo has a undiagnosed immune system condition.
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A LEADING consultant says cash raised by Wearsiders is invaluable in caring for sick children.

The family of Finlay Kennedy, a Penshaw youngster with an undiagnosed immune system condition, raised almost £8,500 to support the research of Newcastle’s Bubble Foundation UK, to treat babies and children who are suffering from severe primary immunodeficiencies.

Finlay, three, has to undergo weekly blood infusions to help him cope with his illness and his parents, Leanne Burn and Fraser Kennedy, along with family and friends, held a number of events to raise the money.

Fraser, a Performance Sport Manager at Newcastle University, said: “I have been overwhelmed with the support everyone has shown. To raise over £8,000 is incredible.

“It is vital the Bubble Foundation UK keeps doing the work it is doing, it is world leading. I urge everyone to try and support such a wonderful local charity and to continue to give blood if at all possible, after all this does not cost a penny, just one hour or so of your time but it is lifesaving.”

Professor Andrew Cant, Clinical Director at the Great North Children’s Hospital and trustee of the Bubble Foundation, said: “Charitable foundations are so important in raising money for us to support the work that we do with our children and the research.”

Each year, the Children’s Immunology Service at the Great North Children’s Hospital sees more than 1,400 children with immunity and infection problems and performs more than 30 bone marrow transplants.

Professor Cant said: “We’re one of two national centres that sees, assess and treats children with severe defects in their immune system. These are rather forgotten group of children and if we don’t do research in finding out more about these diseases and better ways of treating them, no one else will.

“Money and funds raised through the Bubble Foundation are utterly invaluable in getting us going on that research and we are extremely grateful for all the money we’ve got towards it.

“The great thing is that this has not only raised money, but it also raises awareness within the community and you get the feel of the community being involved. That is one of the unique things about the North East, the sense of community involvement and people doing things and feeling ‘this is our hospital and this is our research going on in our university’. I get a tremendous buzz out of that.”

To find out more or support the Bubble Foundation, visit