Local women raise $2.3k for childhood cancer

A group of Wheatbelt women have come together to raise more than $2,000 into research for childhood cancer while having a night of fashion and pampering. 

On Friday, November 23 women gathered to hear from guest speaker Katey Higgs who shared about her son Finlay's diagnosis with hepatoblastoma and cancer research funding for children.

A champagne complimentary drink was provided on arrival with a grazing table provided by the ladies from the Federals Football Club and sweets from Avon Valley Bakery and Happy Days Coffee Pot.

Entertainment was a fashion parade from Cadd’s Fashions & SportFirst. 

Ladies were then able to browse through the stock and make purchases with 10 per cent of sales being donated to the event.

Pamper sessions including makeup and facial demonstrations, mini manicures and massages were on offer throughout the evening by Linda Witt and Cherrie Trinder and their team from Nutrimetics.

A total of $2,377.01 was raised on the night.

The Friends of Finlay project was formed by the Higgs family to raise support for their son, help fund further research into childhood cancer and increase awareness of hepatoblastoma.

Finlay was 18-months old when his mother Katey discovered an unusual protrusion on his stomach on the Australia Day weekend of 2015. 

Doctors found that the lump on his side was caused by a large tumor distending his stomach. 

They diagnosed him with stage four high risk hepatoblastoma, a very rare form of liver cancer that is most often diagnosed in children under the age of three.

Finlay’s cancer had spread to his lungs and he was given a 30 per cent chance of survival. 

This required a very aggressive treatment plan.

Finlay was started on a treatment protocol which included chemotherapy to fight the cancer. 

Doctors were hopeful that after chemotherapy the tumor would shrink to a size that they were able to operate on. 

However after four rounds of chemotherapy there was little change to the tumor. 

His only option at the time was to undergo surgery to remove the tumor and the diseased parts of the liver.

Surgeons managed to remove the entire right lobe of Finlay’s liver leaving only the smaller left lobe behind. 

Pathology on the tumor found that the cancer was active tissue however all margins around the tumor were clear of cancer cells.

To this day Finlay continues to bravely fight his cancer. 

After multiple surgeries and treatments, his diagnosis is now stage four high risk refractory hepatoblastoma.

He is receiving CT scans as well as liver function and other tests every three months.

Finlay wears hearing aids due to hearing loss brought on by the chemotherapy drugs, and will require annual function and cardiac testing. 

If you would like to donate to Friends of Finlay you can go to www.gofundme.com/finlay and if you would like to donate funds towards childhood cancer research you can go to www.childcancerresearch.com.au.

Cadd’s Fashions & SportFirst’s Kath Devereux said businesses from the community banded together to support the cause with donations.

“Without everyone help the night could not have been the success it was,” she said.

“So a very big thank you to all those involved.”