LEIGH MP Andy Burnham has been inspired to pull on his running shoes by a teenage constituent who has battled bone cancer.
Mr Burnham is preparing to take part in the BUPA Great Manchester 10k Run on behalf of 16-year-old Callum Flynn, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on his 14th birthday.
Callum, a Bedford High School pupil, had been misdiagnosed for eight months when his symptoms were put down to growing pains and a virus.
But a simple x-ray revealed a large tumour on his right knee.
He pulled through after intensive chemotherapy and an operation and has thrown all his efforts into raising awareness about the cancer.
Mr Burnham will complete the run with Callum’s auntie Maria as they aim to raise cash for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
He said: “Callum wanted to join with his Auntie Maria in the Great Manchester Run but this year he is not up to it and he asked me to run in his place. I’m proud to be representing such a courageous lad who has done so much to raise awareness of bone cancer.
“As a former Health Secretary, I know the importance of continuing to invest in cancer research. Sadly, cancer can affect any family at any time. But it is a source of inspiration to me that a lad like Callum can turn his own experiences into a positive drive to help others.”
Callum’s auntie, Maria Flynn said: “We can’t put in to words how grateful we are that he is putting his time and energy into doing the run. We’ll be running together, but he’ll probably finish nearer to the front than me.”
Roger Paul, Chairman of the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said: “Callum and Maria have in the past raised a huge amount of money for BCRT.”
The Bupa Great Manchester 10k run takes place on Sunday, May 15. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Andy-Burnham