"Hi, my name is Finn! I have had two stem cell transplants. I'd like to say to my donors that you are my heroes, you gave me a second chance in life, thank you!
"I am 11 years old and I live in Worcestershire with my family. I love acting and being part of the Birmingham Youth Theatre.
"Preparing for my transplants meant months in hospital without seeing my family. I really missed my home, my friends and my dog Bob. However, during my treatment, I stayed strong by looking forward to the future when I would be healthy and at home.
"My favourite things to do now that I have had my second transplant are I can go back to school and back to my youth theatre that I love. I can go swimming, I can have fun outside and I can be at home – that’s one of my favourite things, to be at home and not be in the hospital."
"I started my Instagram page Finn the Fabulous to raise awareness of the need for stem cell donors.
"Running the page means that sometimes I get spotted when I'm out in the street - I was even spotted on my holiday! It’s great because any chance to start a conversation with someone about the need for stem cell donors is amazing.
"It’s really important to me to support DKMS because I want everyone else who needs a donor to have one too. If anyone is thinking of signing up, please do because I want everyone to have a second chance in life."
“When we found out that only a small amount of people are registered as stem cell donors, we felt really scared, not knowing if Finn’s match was going to be out there.
"But after his second transplant, he’s been so well that he has been back at school since Easter and doing everything that any 11-year-old should be doing. He’s laughing and enjoying life to the max! We want that for every person who is waiting for their match too." Jo Hill, Finn’s mum
Happily, Finn is thriving following two stem cell transplants to treat the very rare immune disorder, Isolated CNS HLH, which was diagnosed in 2019, when he was just seven years old. Now, he is leading a special DKMS campaign this autumn, highlighting the urgent need for more people to register as stem cell donors, to provide those in need of a transplant with a second chance at life.
Finn, his mum Jo, and his beloved puppet Dave The Wonderdog – who helped him through long hospital stays – are the stars of adverts appearing on hoardings across Nottingham and Birmingham as well as on bus shelters and on trams. They will also appear in West Midlands Railway trains from 6 November.
Finn and his family suffered years of worry, uncertainty, medical tests and long hospital stays before he had his two transplants. His first donor was in Brazil. Sadly, in 2022 Finn's stem cell levels dropped dangerously and he risked relapsing, but thankfully a 100 per cent compatible match was found for him in Portugal.
In December 2022, Finn received his second transplant. Happily, he is now back at school and enjoying life, sharing his adventures on his very own Instagram account Finn the Fabulous.
Joining the DKMS stem cell register is a simple process involving a mouth swab, which can be completed at home. Anyone aged 17 – 55 years who is in general good health can register online to receive a mouth swab kit.
Why we need more stem cell donors