Introducing Finley and Emily the Faces of the 2024 Good Friday Appeal

After a milestone fundraising year in 2023, we are thrilled to once again announce the faces of this year’s campaign, Emily and Finley.

After a milestone fundraising year in 2023, we are thrilled to once again reveal the little ambassadors of this year’s appeal, Emily and Finley.

Emily, ten years old, and Finley, two years old, have both been patients at the Royal Children’s Hospital since they were very young. They have both received life-saving treatment, Emily for the cancer in her brainstem and Finley for his severe spina bifida.

Picture: David Caird

Emily, 10-years-old

10-year-old Emily is the heart and soul of her family of five. She loves playing sports, is quick to make a joke and adores spending time with her friends.

After experiencing some difficulties Emily underwent a number of tests from ear, nose and throat specialists and was then referred to a neurologist for an MRI. 

The neurologist found a lesion in Emily’s brainstem that was presumed to be a slow growing glioma, a type of brain tumour. 

Emily’s family was then put in touch with neurologists at The Royal Children’s Hospital and connected with other specialists around the hospital including oncologists, ENT, respiratory doctors, gastroenterologists and dieticians. 

Emily’s lesion is a rare type of brain tumour called a ganglioglioma. The location of the tumour is not only the most difficult part of the brain to operate on, it’s also the most dangerous as it controls everything her body does.

Emily is likely going to have this tumour for the rest of her life, despite this Emily takes it all in her stride and her family with the help of her teams at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Read more about Emily’s story here.

Picture: David Caird

Finley, 2-years-old

Lighting up the room with his wide smile and loving nature, two-year-old Finley had a roller-coaster start to life after being born with myelomeningocele, a severe form of spina bifida. 

In his first 48 hours of life, Finley underwent his first major spinal surgery, which successfully reduced the severity of the myelomeningocele and two accompanying conditions, hydrocephalus and Chiari malformation. 

Finley and his first-time parents, Erin and Jacob, moved into Sugar Glider ward, where Finley continued to receive treatment from seven specialist care teams.

At six weeks old, Finley was diagnosed with bilateral vocal cord paralysis, requiring a tracheostomy.

In his short life, Finley has undergone four major surgeries, amongst countless MRIs, X-rays, scope studies and other diagnostic tests. 

He is currently fed through a nasogastric tube, as he awaits yet another surgery to insert a feeding tube into his stomach, but remains an incredibly positive young boy and proud big brother to his sister, Lilah. Read more about Finley’s story here.

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