Posted on Wednesday 31 March 2021

in News

Mum’s 500,000 Steps Challenge for son, 7, with brain tumour

A Lincolnshire mum is walking 500,000 steps throughout March to raise vital funds for children and young people with cancer, amid her seven-year-old son’s battle with a brain tumour.


Chantelle O’Connor is walking around 236 miles throughout March – the distance of nine marathons – to raise money for CLIC Sargent: young lives vs cancer, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. Chantelle’s son James has been undergoing treatment for the past five years at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for an anaplastic ependymoma, an aggressive and rare brain tumour.

Chantelle, 32, said: “James was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour at the age of two. For five years he has fought with everything he has – he has faced brain surgeries, intensive chemotherapy and proton radiation to his brain and spine. As well as battling cancer, James has fought against sepsis and meningitis numerous times. The treatment has caused vision loss, hearing loss, mobility issues, left side facial palsy, right side body weakness, learning disabilities, cognitive development disabilities, and memory loss. He’s a true, real-life hero. In January, we were told James had reoccurred with his sixth brain tumour and he underwent more surgery last month. He’s currently recovering well and is at home.

“CLIC Sargent have been a huge part of our journey and so I wanted to give something back by taking part in this challenge. We can’t really help change the situation for James but what we can do is help give back to CLIC Sargent so the charity can help other families facing cancer.

“For the first year and a half of James’ treatment, the CLIC Sargent Home from Home accommodation quite literally became just that. While James received chemotherapy, myself James’ dad and twin brother lived in the CLIC home opposite the hospital for more than six months. Without this, and all the other support CLIC Sargent has provided over the years, we would have been lost.”

William Hampshire, CLIC Sargent’s Events Marketing Manager, said:

“We are pleased to hear we have been able to provide some support for James and his family throughout his cancer journey and are so grateful for Chantelle’s incredible dedication and commitment to raise vital funds for CLIC Sargent. When cancer strikes young lives we fight tirelessly to limit the damage it causes beyond their health. We rely entirely on donations to fund our work and so we can’t thank Chantelle, and everyone who has supported her, enough for this fantastic effort.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our income so fundraising challenges such as these are absolutely crucial in helping us recover and continue our work to support children and young people like James who are facing cancer.”


Notes to editors

For more information, interviews or images, contact Kelli Hooks at or 07771 830 960.

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent

When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit

Note to sub editors

Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.

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