Finnegan raising money for Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

Nationals reliever Kyle Finnegan has put his name on an initiative to help children diagnosed with cancer.

Finnegan is urging fans to donate to a campaign of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation called Vs. Cancer, either in a lump sum or by pledging an amount for every strikeout Finnegan records for the remainder of the season. A co-worker of Finnegan's father, William Finnegan, told the right-hander about the organization.

finnegan blue sidebar.jpg"Just trying to raise anything we can for this great cause," Finnegan said during a recent Zoom video session with reporters. "I am a dad myself, so that kind of hits home for me there with September being Childhood Cancer Month. Just trying to get that out there and raise money any way we can."

Finnegan, 29, made his major league debut this summer after spending seven seasons in the minors. He had promised himself that if he ever made it to the big leagues, he would use that status to raise awareness for the cause.

"It's incredible to have this platform and this opportunity," Finnegan said. "It's something I always looked forward to coming up, and I always told myself that if I ever had this opportunity I wanted to try and take advantage of it. My wife, Rachel, also does a lot of work with childhood cancer through her employer. So, she kind of inspired me to try and do something with this as well. I am grateful to have this platform and try and raise money for a good cause."

Saturday is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day around Major League Baseball, part of its partnership with Stand Up to Cancer. All field personnel will wear gold today to raise awareness for the initiative.

Manager Davey Martinez is not surprised that Finnegan is the kind of player who would jump at the chance to try to give back.

"He's a special kid, he really is," Martinez said. "He's very humble, very appreciative of everything he gets. His character is one of caring. He cares about everything. As you see now with his cancer (initiative), he just wants to help. He wants to help as many people as he possibly can.

"I am fortunate to have him. On the field, he has been a blessing. Off the field, as you know now, he's tremendously important to the community and he wants to be involved in the community. I am proud of him. He is a kid that works hard for everything he has and he just wants to give back."

Finnegan wanted to try to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation because of the lifelong effects cancer can have for children as they grow up.

"I believe childhood cancer is the most fatal disease for children," Finnegan said. "I read that 95 percent of childhood cancer survivors will experience lasting health effects throughout their life. So, it is just a very violent disease for children and I think that anything we can do to help that research and help that treatment or the financial hardships that families will incur, it's a cause that is worthwhile."

Even though Finnegan's involvement has just been publicized, he says the organization has already received a steady stream of donations.

"It's surprised me, to be honest," Finnegan said. "It's still very much in its infancy, and to already have a fair amount of money raised was just incredible to see."

For more information on the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, visit here. To donate directly to Finnegan's initiative and to pledge for each strikeout he earns the rest of the season, go to this website here.

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