A 7-year-old boy who was devastated after losing his grandfather to pancreatic cancer is running a full marathon in his memory. Oliver Connon decided to run the 26.2 miles throughout the month of January to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK and is 22.4 miles in.
After losing his grandfather James to pancreatic cancer in 2020, Oliver and his mom Miranda became frustrated at the lack of research into the disease. Sporty Oliver and his mom began brainstorming for ways to make a difference, and sporty Oliver settled on his month-long marathon.
Oliver, of Padstow, Cornwall, has been running rain or shine, after school and on weekends – and friends and family have been joining him where they can to help keep him company.
Now, set to complete his challenge on Jan. 31, Oliver has raised a whopping £1,167 – with just under four miles left to go.
His mom Miranda said: “Oliver decided to raise money for pancreatic cancer because my dad, who he always called papa, actually died back in April 2020 of pancreatic cancer.
James Chrimes, Oliver Connon’s late grandfather.
“When I spoke to him about the disease and explained that there wasn’t much funding going into pancreatic cancer, he decided that he wanted to raise money for the cause.
“He wanted to try and raise as much money as possible so that other children won’t lose their grandparents too.
“He lost the only granddad he’s ever had, and he really wanted to do something positive to stop people from feeling how he’s felt. “Loads of people can relate to pancreatic cancer and the devastation it causes in its wake.
“Oliver decided on doing running, because it’s something we’ve not done before – we’ve done a lot of cycling and sports, but not running, so this was a bit more of a challenge for him.
“We’ve had our ups and downs – at the start, he had loads of energy and was full of beans, but we’ve had the winter weather this month. “It’s been cold and rainy – we’ve had tears, we’ve had stitches, and everything to be honest.
“But we know that it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy!”
Oliver has surpassed his target of £1,000, and the family have been deeply touched by the support from the local community.
The family are prepared for a celebration after Oliver runs his final mile – complete with banners provided by Pancreatic Cancer UK and cake provided by mom.
Oliver Connon, 7 and mom Miranda Connon.
“The support has been amazing,” Miranda said.
“Everybody’s been getting involved; lots of people have been running with him, from four-year-olds to grown-ups.
“I think we needed that support – it’s really kept him going and it’s phenomenal.
“Next Wednesday, we’re putting an event together for him.
“We’ll have one mile left, so we’re going to get everybody who wants to run with him to join and run the mile – friends, family, supporters, anyone that wants to come along and celebrate him.
“We want to recognize that it’s such an achievement. For anybody to run that far is absolutely amazing, never mind a seven-year-old. “He’s brilliant – he’s really inspired a lot of people.”
“We cannot thank Oliver enough for his incredible fundraising efforts in memory of his Papa,” said Abbey Harnwell, community fundraising manager at Pancreatic Cancer UK.
“At just seven years old he is running 26.2 miles in January; a feat that many adults would find daunting! “He should be so proud of what he’s achieved so far.
“The money he has raised will help to fund world-class research to transform the future for people affected by pancreatic cancer, as well as help our charity provide support for people when they need it most.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker