It’s been a match made in heaven for Finley Hill this past week – in more ways than one!
Not only did the young lion get to meet his claret and blue heroes, he also received positive news in regard to his poor health.
Finn has Primary HLH, a life-threatening condition where his cells become overactive and cause the immune system to attack his brain, causing dangerous inflammation.His only hope of a cure is a stem cell transplant.
The stats for discovering a match are low – only 2% of people in the UK are on the stem cell database and only 0.4% of the world’s population. There are 2,000 people in the UK searching for a donor and only four in ten eventually find a match.
Introduced to Aston Villa by club hero Shaun Teale, the family spoke to Foundation chief Guy Rippon.
Kind-hearted Guy then invited the youngster for a full tour of the Bodymoor Heath training facilities and the chance to meet his favourite players. Since the invite landed in the family’s email inbox, Finn has received the fantastic news that a match has been found for him – giving him and his loved ones renewed hope for the future.
As well as wanting to give Finn a fabulous experience, it was also important for us to raise awareness of the issue.That’s why the club also elected to invite charity DKMS along to the training ground to provide swabbing kits, which our players happily used in order to increase the stem cell database.
Finn met up with cancer survivor, Stiliyan Petrov as well as his hero Jack Grealish and other star names like Tyrone Mings, Conor Hourihane, Neil Taylor and Tom Heaton on an action-packed day he’ll never forget.
Now on to the transplant but not before another claret and blue treat for the youngster - the chance to be a mascot at the upcoming Burnley game.
Check out the video above for the full story of an amazing day.