A brave seven-year-old from Auchinloch has been given the honour of launching a fun new race designed to help Scots battling Cancer.
For Callum Craig it’s also an opportunity to celebrate the first anniversary of his own recovery fronm the disease.
Last summer he relied on a wheelchair to get around when more than five months of chemotherapy treatment left him too weak to even walk.
Now he’s gearing up to crawl under, clamber over and charge through a mud splattered obstacle course for Cancer Research UK.
Designed specifically for children, Race for Life Pretty Muddy Kids will take place for the first time at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow on Saturday, September 16.
Callum will be sounding the hooter to start the event - and is urging youngsters to join him and help beat cancer sooner.
Proud mum, Victoria Craig (39) said: “All Callum has ever wanted is to be a normal, wee boy again.
“He is our hero who kept us strong through all the hospital treatment.
“Even on the very toughest of days, Callum had a smile on his face.
“From the second he woke up every morning, Callum approached everything in life at 100 mph and refused to let cancer change his life.
“The day we were told Callum was in remission from cancer I felt joy and relief to put an end to that part of our lives.
“Now if Callum’s story can help other families get through cancer then I couldn’t be prouder. Together, we can beat it.”
Callum had rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that affects particular types of muscle cells.
In children, it occurs most frequently at around three years of age and around 50 children are diagnosed with the disease each year in Britain.
It was a huge relief when more tests revealed the cancer had been caught early and not spread.
Dad Colin said: “Callum was losing his hair so I thought, ‘well I’m going to shave my hair off as well.
“It was a sign of love and support. It was a sign that we’d decided to face cancer head on.”
On September 22 last year the family received the best news of all when tests showed Callum was in remission, and on October 7 after a final clinic visit, Callum rang a special bell in the hospital which officially marked the end of treatment.
Victoria said: “Ringing that bell was a big moment and Callum was cheered on by all the doctors and nurses.
“It felt like this weight had finally been lifted from our shoulders.”
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “We’d like to thank Callum and his family for helping us launch Pretty Muddy Kids in Scotland.
“Race for Life events are not competitive and children can complete the Pretty Muddy Kids course at their own pace, climbing, jumping, walking and laughing their way around.
“It promises to be a fantastic event for all the family so we urge people to sign up right now.”
People can sign up for all events in the Race for Life series at raceforlife.org