Cancer race ban heartache

ndet 97118 Seven Year Old Barred From 'Race For Life', Claire Parker with son Conor
ndet 97118 Seven Year Old Barred From 'Race For Life', Claire Parker with son Conor

A CANCER survivor whose schoolboy son has been barred from taking part in Race for Life with her has hit out at the “discriminatory” ban.

Claire Parker, 32, who battled Lymphoma, had been hoping to run this summer’s event in Chesterfield alongside her seven-year-old son, Connor.

But race organisers have told Claire the youngster can’t compete in the female-only event as some women felt “uncomfortable” when males were allowed to join in the Cancer Research UK run last year.

Claire, of Capthorne Close, Chesterfield, said: “It’s disgusting and discriminatory.

“We’re talking about a seven-year-old kid, my son, who means the world to me.

“He was with me when my hair was falling out, he saw me being sick all the time, he saw me having my injections – he’s been through it all with me and he’s given me that extra strength.

“Both Connor and I did the race last year and he really spurred me on – there were lots of tears when we crossed the finishing line.

“I just want him to be by my side in the race again so both of us can raise money to help beat this devastating disease.”

Nicki Embleton, of Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re sorry Claire feels upset that her son isn’t eligible to take part in this year’s Race for Life with her.

“Connor is very welcome to come along on the day and support his mum and all the other women taking part.”

She added: “Last year we trialled allowing boys under-11 to enter, yet very few took part when we opened up this opportunity.

“Furthermore, based on recent research, women are very keen to keep our events female-only, so we’ve decided to be much clearer on our policy and currently only allow boys under-five to participate.”

Claire said she was determined to push for a change in the rules.

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