Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland schoolboy Finn Clancy (10) loses cancer battle

By Mark Bain

A young boy whose last wish was to get as many people as possible to follow a YouTube vlog that documented his battle against cancer has died.

Finn Clancy (10), whose dad Oisin is from Portadown, was released from Great Ormond Street Hospital last week with doctors saying they could do nothing more to help him.

Oisin confirmed his little boy had passed away in a social media post on Monday night.

"It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that our brave little 'Finn the Phoenix' passed away in the early hours of this morning (June 25). He was courageous to the end and his positivity always shone through.

"Finn believed that as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, he would too. We are so incredibly proud of him and heartbroken that we have lost our little ray of sunshine.

"We thank everyone who has supported Finn and our family through this difficult journey and know that you will respect our need for space and privacy at this time.

"He really was a star and he's left a huge hole in our lives."

Just short of 3,000 people subscribed to Finn's video log, Finn the Phoenix.

His dad added: "I have to thank all the people who helped Finn by getting involved in his YouTube channel, far more than he ever really wished for. It really kept him going through difficult times. He loved seeing the number of subscribers keep on rising and we loved seeing the smile on his face. And I also have to thank all the medical staff who have helped us and Finn through these last few weeks.

"Finn had to deal with many difficult challenges such as his phobia of needles and anaesthesia, extreme nausea, loss of weight, constant lethargy, loss of mobility and bodily functions, loss of his hair, in addition to managing extreme pain on a daily basis.

"But during all of the time Finn was sick, he kept himself positive by starting (his vlog) 'Finn the Phoenix: Fired Up'. It gave him a real buzz.

"It was a great medium for him to express himself, a real reflection of his positivity and something we will treasure forever.

"He always told me that he thinks that life is a dream and when you die, you just wake up."

Finn was first diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue sarcoma (tumour), in September 2016.

But because of the disease's rarity - it affects fewer than 60 children a year - he was referred to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. By this time Finn's cancer had escalated to stage four.

After six months of intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy he was told his tumours were gone and he was in partial remission.

Oisin previously said: "As soon as he got home Finn started working on his YouTube channel as it had been something he'd always wanted to do.

"We watched as he got his strength back and his hair, and within a few weeks Finn was back at school. He still had to receive a maintenance dose of chemotherapy but life was getting back to normal and Finn was very positive and loving his new YouTube hobby.

"Then, towards the end of last year, a routine scan revealed that the cancer had returned.

"We had a chat with him and came up with the idea of getting 1,000 subscribers for his channel and it helped to take his mind off things.

"He got so many more and they should know that they made a little boy very happy."

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