Watch for this elephant as Leeds charity workers tackle the Great North Run

Look out for a giant elephant at this year’s Great North Run on September 8.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 1:29 pm

Two fearless workers from Leeds childhood cancer charity Candlelighters will power Champ, their mascot, on the Newcastle challenge, in their bid to make more cash to support families needing their help.

Champ weighs a mammoth 10kg, and ventilation within the mascot is limited which makes the run even more arduous, Family Network coordinator Carly said: “Natalie and I will be taking it in turns, spending up to 90 minutes at a time in the costume, whilst the other acts as a guide due to the restricted vision in our giant elephant.”

It is Champ’s debut run, and Carly Barraclough, with head of family support Natalie Kisby, hope he will attract people’s attention to raise awareness for children and their families affected by childhood cancer across Yorkshire.

Each year, around 150 children in Yorkshire are diagnosed with cancer and with that diagnosis, lives are turned upside down in an instant, not just for the child, but for parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and extended family.

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Getting well again can be a long, difficult journey.

Candlelighters provide financial, emotional and practical support to children and their families who are affected by childhood cancer across Yorkshire, for as long as families need it.

Carly explained: “Natalie and I work for Candlelighters within the family support team, but we have both been affected by childhood cancer and supported by Candlelighters in the past.

“My son Brad was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma back in 2014 but sadly passed away 10 months later just two weeks before his sixteenth Birthday. Natalie sadly lost her sister Lauren in 2009 when she was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma at the age of 14.”

Champ will be joined by many other runners from #TeamCandlelighters, so look out for a pair of great big ears amid a sea of pink hitting the streets of Newcastle this weekend.

Champ, actioned by Carly and Natalie, is hoping to complete the course in under four and a half hours and will appreciate any support given to help them on their way.

To donate to their Just Giving page, head to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/natandcarly