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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Jennifer Hyland & Kathleen Speirs

Batgirl's tribute to Glasgow toddler who died from cancer after meeting on set

Batgirl star Leslie Grace has paid tribute to a Glasgow toddler she met on set who died from cancer.

Finlay Mckechnie was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer, last spring. Earlier this year the four-year-old touched the hearts of Batgirl's cast and crew while they filmed on the streets of Glasgow.

Finlay, from Ruchill, sadly passed away last month after medics told his family in February that the cancer had spread, the Sunday Mail reports. DC’s £75million movie will never be released, but Batgirl herself, Leslie, told how she was devastated at his loss and dedicated a song to him on social media.

READ MORE: Fire at Glasgow restaurant in Finnieston as emergency services rush to scene

Leslie Grace with Finlay Mckechnie (REACH PLC/HANDOUT)

His dad, Harry, 47, said: “It was devastating when we were told Finlay had cancer but we remained positive and made the most of every day, making all the memories with him we could. Finlay was absolutely mad about superheroes and one of his favourites was Batman.

"When he was invited on to a real movie set and got to meet Batgirl, it meant the world to him and us. Finlay turned up on set dressed as Batman and, while we were there, not a single member of cast or crew walked past him without saying, ‘Hi,’ giving him a high five or a fist bump.

“He spent 25 minutes speaking to Batgirl and she gave him a lovely book with a personalised message written inside, which said he was a true superhero. That day they made him feel like a real superhero and it was a day his mum and I will never forget.”

Finlay Mckechnie (HANDOUT/REACH PLC)

Finlay was rushed to hospital in March 2021 after his parents discovered a lump in his abdomen. An ultrasound revealed the then three-year-old had liver cancer.

Hepatoblastoma affects about one in a million people and is most common in children under three. It usually presents as an abdominal mass causing pain and discomfort.

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Survival rates have reached around 80 to 90 per cent but it depends upon the stage of the cancer at diagnosis. Finlay underwent an operation to have the tumour removed, but weeks later doctors broke the news to his devastated parents that his cancer had returned and had spread to his lungs.

Earlier this year, he was taken to the set in Glasgow where a large part of the film was shot as it doubled up as Gotham City. But it was revealed earlier this month that movie bosses have decided not to release the £75million film after test screenings were poorly received.

On set, Finlay was delighted to meet Batgirl, played by Leslie, 27, and also chatted with the film’s directors Fallah Bilal and Adil El Arbi.

Harry added: “We didn’t reach out to tell the cast or crew that Finlay has passed away. I don’t know who told them but I know that when they were told, everyone on set stopped what they were doing.

"Everyone remembered the little Batman. The tributes paid by Leslie Grace and everyone were very touching.”

After being told of his death, Leslie posted a heartfelt message on Instagram which read, 'Thank you for the light you brought into our lives, little Finlay. We’ll never forget you'. The singer and actress also shared a video of her singing A Song for You by Donny Hathaway with her 1.2million followers in tribute to him.

Director Adil also paid tribute on social media.

He wrote: “Heartbroken. Little brother Finlay was a cancer patient who visited the set of Batgirl with his family.

"He was a true superhero and I pray for him and his family. Rest in peace, sweet soul.”

Harry, a lorry driver, said: “You can never prepare yourself to hear that your child has cancer. We tried to remain positive and upbeat for his sake.

"We were hopeful for the future but then in February, after a follow-up MRI, the doctors sat us down and told us the cancer was regrowing and had spread. You just don’t ever think the unimaginable will happen.

"You just live in hope someone will just one day offer you a cure. We refused to believe what the future could hold for him and we made sure we did everything possible to make every day count.

“We went on days out, holidays, took a trip to Legoland – but the day we got invited onto the Batgirl set was a massive highlight for him. Through everything, Finlay was so brave, you would never have even known he was ill.

"He was full of fun, mischief and laughter. He was an amazing little boy who just loved life.”

Finlay Mckechnie's parents Harry and Suzanne (REACH PLC)

Finlay passed away last month with his parents by his side.

Harry said: “It was just heartbreaking. He had his whole little life ahead of him.

"I was his dad – if he fell or was upset, I could always fix him. But it breaks my heart that he fought so hard but in the end no one could save him.

"We just told him how special he was and how we loved him.”

Mum Suzanne, 44, added: “He was and will always be our superhero. His loss will never leave us.

"The memory of how special he was and what he meant to his family will live on with us forever.”

For more information on hepatoblastoma visit the NHS website.


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