A BRAVE cancer survivor is claiming a victory for people-power after forcing charity chiefs into a u-turn over their national fundraising event.
Mum Claire Parker was heartbroken after Cancer Research UK said her seven-year-old son, Connor, couldn’t join her in this summer’s charity race in Chesterfield.
But after fighting a determined campaign, organisers have scrapped the national ban, announcing boys under-11 will be able to compete.
Claire, 32, said: “I wasn’t going to give up without a fight – I had to stand up for all the other people in a similar position all over the country.”
Race organisers had told Claire that Connor couldn’t take part in the female-only event as some women felt “uncomfortable” when boys were allowed to join in the race last year.
At the time, Claire blasted the “disgusting and discriminatory” move.
But speaking after Cancer Research UK backtracked on the ban, Claire, of Capthorne Close, Chesterfield, said: “I’m over the moon and Connor is really happy too.
“When I was battling Lymphoma, he was such a massive source of strength – he went through everything with me – and I’m delighted we’ll be able to cross that finishing line together.
“Realistically I would love Race for Life to be open to everyone as everyone suffers from cancer.”
Campaigner Claire said scores of people had signed a petition against the “barmy” ban.
She added: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone – including the Derbyshire Times which covered our story in the first place – who has supported me in this fight.
“I was never going to give up.”
Emma Hyatt, head of Race for Life, said: “It’s wonderful that people feel so passionately about our run and we take responsibility for listening to their views very seriously.
“We have listened to Claire Parker and gained further feedback from a range of supporters to gauge their feelings on the subject.
“As a result, we have decided to reinstate the age limit of 11 and under for boys taking part in 2012, which we trialled for the first time last year.
“It may take a little while to adjust our registration processes to allow this to happen, so we are asking supporters to bear with us while we make the necessary technical changes.”
l What do you think about this u-turn? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.