Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Life: Callum on Track to Win His Race; Family on the Start Line to Support Cancer Research in Association with YouDidntDidYou.com CANCER RESEARCH UK Race for Life

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Life: Callum on Track to Win His Race; Family on the Start Line to Support Cancer Research in Association with YouDidntDidYou.com CANCER RESEARCH UK Race for Life

Article excerpt

Byline: MARIE TURBILL

WOMEN are once again being called together to do their bit for charity with places now available in this year's Race for Life. MARIE TURBILL meets one Teesside mum with a special reason for taking part.

MUM-OF-TWO Helen Barker already has her place booked on the starting line of this year's Race for Life.

Beside her will be six-year-old daughter, Katie, and probably three-year-old son Callum, too.

"Callum tends to want to do whatever his big sister does," explains Helen, 32.

Despite his tender years it won't be the first time he has completed the five kilometre charity course. Last year the Barker trio also tackled the race together. That time, Callum was travelling in a carrier on mum's back, but he still enjoyed his moment of glory walking those last few steps to the finish line.

It was a poignant moment for the family who just a few months earlier had received the diagnosis every parent dreads.

Callum was diagnosed with cancer.

There was no sign then of the treatment he was undergoing, his little life overtaken by a lengthy course of chemo, a major op and radiotherapy.

Callum's story illustrates what the charity event - which kicks off locally from Ormesby Hall - is all about. Every year, tens of thousands of women from across the UK come together to run five kilometres in aid of Cancer Research UK. Four thousand of them will join Helen at Ormesby.

"If it wasn't for the work Cancer Research UK has done, the outcome for us could have been completely different," says Helen, of Ingleby Barwick.

Callum was diagnosed with a Wilm's Tumour, a kidney cancer that affects children, last March.

His dad, Paul, 36, had noticed his son's stomach felt unusually hard on one side one bath time.

Following a check-up at the doctor's, Callum was referred to North Tees General Hospital for tests and then the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

It revealed a tumour on his right kidney but the cancer had also spread to Callum's lungs.

"It was unbelievable. Your whole world falls apart," says Helen. "You don't ever expect anything like that to happen to your own child. …

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