A LOVING son will hit the roads for charity and raise cash in memory of his mum after race bosses stepped in to help.
Oliver Thompson’s mother Susan died after a brave six-year battle with cancer on Sunday, aged 48.
Eight-year-old Oliver, of Cleadon, had been planning to take part in the Mini Great North Run on Saturday, September 14, to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Care, which helped Susan during her treatment.
Susan’s husband, David, of Grosvenor Drive, Cleadon, intended to get his son a place for the 1.5k fun run, but missed the deadline for entries.
However, after hearing the family’s plight, organisers Nova gave the youngster a race number and he will take part alongside hundreds of other children on the Gateshead and Newcastle Quayside later this month.
“I am absolutely elated that Oliver has got a place and that he’ll be able to do it for charity,” said David.
“He was adamant that he would run for his mam, and now he will.”
Dance teacher Susan, who ran classes in Whitburn for more than 30 years, first developed breast cancer six years ago. Although she bravely battled the illness, undergoing gruelling chemotherapy treatment, it eventually spread to her stomach.
She passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead last weekend.
David, who has another son Elliot, 14, with Susan, added: “She was feeling great a couple of weeks ago, but over the last week and a half she really deteriorated.
“We got a lot of help from Macmillan nurses when my wife was in hospital.
“At first she didn’t want to get them involved because she thought they were only there for the end, in terms of palliative care. But they couldn’t do enough for her, and I know she really appreciated it.” Now it is hoped that Oliver, a pupil at Cleadon Primary School, will bring in hundreds of pounds for Macmillan.
“The nurses at the hospital all said they are happy to sponsor him if he got a place and we’ve even had people in Cleadon who they say they will too,” added David.
“He did the run last year with me but this time he has said ‘dad, I want to do it on my own’.”
“He’s a very strong boy and I’m so proud of him.”
A spokesman for Nova, which organises the Great North Run and the junior event, said: “We were very touched by Oliver’s story, and are delighted to welcome him to the Mini Great North Run.
“Our thoughts are with Oliver, his father David and the rest of the family at this time.”
Mrs Thompson’s funeral was due to take place this morning at Whitburn Parish Church before interment at Whitburn Cemetery.