February 2008 – At just 3.5 years old, Finn was admitted to the hospital for what we would learn was a catastrophic bowel obstruction. Finn's parents left their jobs to be by Finn's side 24-7 while he was hospitalized in Intensive care (PICU) in Providence, RI.
October 2008 – Finn was transferred to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, for evaluation and preparation for the multi organ transplant he would need if he were to survive. Finn's parents were removed from their amazing support system at home, and lived in a Ronald McDonald House to be near Finn and to continue to be with him 24-7.
As Finn's hospitalization continued, his parents had more and more difficulty paying bills and meeting their financial obligations that were not covered by medical insurance. Through the generosity of family, friends, and strangers, they received some financial support. Finn's mom knew that she wanted to help others in similar circumstances in the future.
March 2009 – Finnegan lost his battle with Cystic Fibrosis after 13 months in PICU.
October 2009 - Finn's mother worked with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D, RI) to support the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, including testifying about her experiences in Washington, DC.
January 2011--Finnz Fundz was designated as an offical 501c3 non-profit organization. This was only possible with the support of volunteers, who donated their time to help us with necessary paperwork and forms.
June 2011--Finnz Fundz established a partnership with RI-based company Alex and Ani, which launched the Shark Finn bracelet, part of the company's Charity by Design line of bracelets. This partnership remained in effect until December 2014.
November 2015--thus far, Finnz Fundz has provided assistance to over 30 individuals and families still in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis, in 23 different states! One of our goals is to provide assistance in all 50 states.
When Finn went into the hospital for what would become a 13 month stay, I used my social work skills to try to find resources that could help us as our financial situation became untenable. I was surprised and disappointed to find that there were no resources available which could provide direct assistance to those fighting Cystic Fibrosis.
I vowed to establish my own organization, when time and circumstances permitted, to provide help and hope to those in circumstances similar to my own. I am beyond thrilled by how our organization has been able to help others, and to carry on Finn's name and caring spirit each time we provide assistance.
We are so very thankful for the support we have received from family, friends, and others. The support you give Finnz Fundz in turn supports those in the CF community; it provides help and hope in some of the darkest times in their lives.
What we are doing is making a real difference, and we look forward to continuing to do so.
Dr. Kerry Burns, LICSW
Dr. Kerry Burns, LICSW