The children have called themselves Oliver’s Army due to the impressive size of the group, which is made up of children from local schools. They will be running the 4km course in aid of CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer, and their families.
Oliver was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010. Although Oliver’s tumour was successfully treated, his cancer returned in January 2014 and he has since undergone further surgery and chemotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Oliver and his family have received emotional and practical support from their CLIC Sargent Social Workers, Lynn and Karen.
Oliver’s mum Karen said: “Our first contact with CLIC Sargent was when Lynn approached us in the clinic and began by talking about the diagnosis and treatment in a way we all could understand. She’s always been so human and calm. She helped us make sure Oliver’s education would stay on track, discussed possible counselling for Oliver’s brothers and made sure we were okay financially. She looked after the whole family.
“If I ever feel a bit wobbly or sad, Karen’s always there for a chat. Having someone there that you can talk to is so important when your child is going through treatment. We couldn’t thank CLIC Sargent enough, so it’s great to know that every penny of the money raised by Oliver’s Army will help them carry on offering vital support to children and young people with cancer, and their families.
Donna Owens, the organiser of Oliver’s Army, said: “Following Oliver’s operation his whole school wanted to show their support, so one of his classmates suggested the Junior Great North Run. From there it just grew and grew!
“We’ve been running training sessions once a week, for parents and their children. It’s a chance for both parents and children to get fit and have fun, and at the same time show how much love and support there is for Oliver and his family."
Lindsay Kay, CLIC Sargent fundraising manager in the north-east of England, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that the children in Oliver’s Army have decided to come together in honour of Oliver and fundraise for CLIC Sargent. Every penny they raise will go towards the vital support CLIC Sargent provides for children and young people, like Oliver, living with cancer.”
To sponsor Oliver’s Army please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/raiseforollie