Hartlepool steelworkers band together to help little boy get life-saving treatment

Walkers setting off on a 10-mile walk from Ocean Road, Hartlepool, on Saturday in aid of Finley's Medical Fund.
Walkers setting off on a 10-mile walk from Ocean Road, Hartlepool, on Saturday in aid of Finley's Medical Fund.

A group of Hartlepool steelworkers banded together to help a little boy who needs life-saving medical treatment in the US.

Tata Steel worker Stephen Atkinson’s four-year-old son, Finley Ingles, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour when he was just 18 months old.

Finley Ingles, with mum Kara, sister Georgia and dad Stephen Atkinson.

Finley Ingles, with mum Kara, sister Georgia and dad Stephen Atkinson.

Now, doctors in this country have done all they can for him, and his only hope is to receive pioneering laser ablation surgery in America.

But the cost of treatment for Finley’s inoperable hypothalamic hamartoma brain tumour is a staggering £150,000.

His parents Stephen and Kara Ingles, who are also mum and dad to Georgia, 10, are desperately trying to raise £200,000 to get to the United States and pay for the treatment Finley needs.

They’re being helped in their plea by Stephen’s co-workers at the Brenda Road steelworks, who took on a 10-mile walk across Hartlepool to raise funds.

The sponsored walk, which has raised about £3,000, was organised by Graham Rennie, from Hartlepool.

He said: “I’ve been on the same shift with Finley’s dad for the last nine-and-a-half years so I knew about what was going on and I wanted to do something to help the family out.

“I made some posters and got people at work to either sign up to take part in the walk or sponsor everyone who was doing it.

“We went from Hart Station, up to High Hesleden, onto Blackhall Rocks, and then five or six miles along the beach, so it was probably a bit more than 10 miles all together.

“About 29 people turned up to take part, and we’re looking at about £3,000 to £4,000 once all the sponsorship money comes in.

“I’ve done stuff for charity before but obviously this one was a bit more personal. I just wanted to do something to help.”

Mum Kara, 31, said: “Finley is really poorly and needs this treatment, it’s his only hope. We’ve been back and forward between James Cook, the RVI and Great Ormond Street and this treatment in America is the only thing that can help him.

“He can have up to 10 seizures a day, and he’s at risk every time he’s having one. It’s just no quality of life for a child. We can’t go anywhere or do anything with him because we’re constantly worried about when his next seizure is coming.

“The walkers doing this means so much to us.”

To make a donation, go to www.gofundme.com/finleysmedicalfund