When 12-year-old George Stocker gets his trainers on for the Wetherby Family Fun Run this Sunday (22 May) he’ll be celebrating not only three years’ recovery from a brain tumour but also being well on the way to raising £50,000 for Yorkshire children’s cancer charity Candlelighters.
George, who lives in Little Ribston between Wetherby and Knaresborough, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 and went through 80 weeks of treatment at the children’s cancer unit in Leeds.
It was while George was undergoing treatment in hospital he decided he wanted to help other children who, he felt, were “more poorly” than he was.
As a keen rugby player, he was desperate to get back on the pitch and it was his friends at Wetherby Rugby Club who helped him, and parents Roger and Louise, to organise the first Wetherby Family Fun Run in 2009.
George has now raised more than £40,000 for Candlelighters which provides a range of services for children and their parents at the cancer unit in Leeds to help make life better, including play therapists, equipment and special meals.
George is hoping Sunday’s event will help him to reach the £50,000 mark and is appealing to local people to get their running shoes on and join him at the event.
He said: “Sport has helped me to recover but it doesn’t matter if you can’t run far because you can just walk. I feel like Candlelighters did so much to help me and without them it would have been so hard that I really want to raise more money.”
The youngster, who is still having regular check-ups, was delighted to learn this week that he’d grown 4cm and gained 7lbs since his last visit to the hospital.
The run takes place at Wetherby Rugby Club and there is a choice of 2k and 5k routes. George will be taking part in the 2k along with many of his friends. This year’s theme is Cartoon Characters and fancy dress is optional but there will be prizes for the best costumes.
Non-runners can enjoy a host of other attractions, including bouncy castles, giant slides, inflatable table football, tug o war, the “sumo suit” relay, a children’s disco, and a mums’ and dads’ tag rugby competition.
The fun starts at 11.30am, with the runs getting under way at 1pm. The runners will be sent on their way by ITV Yorkshire Calendar presenter Christine Talbot.