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Maria and her 'Superhero' son raise money for Warwick Cancer Research Centre

A University of Warwick employee and her disabled son have taken part in the Superhero Triathlon to raise money for Warwick Cancer Research Centre.

The Triathlon is part of the UK’s only disability sports series which allows people with disabilities to participate in events without the restrictions of cut-off times or equipment use. Maria’s MacCallum’s 11 year old son John has an undiagnosed condition but has all the symptoms of severe cerebral palsy. Together they completed the half triathlon in 1 hour 14 minutes. IT worker Maria powered her son John around the entire course, towing him in a kayak in the water, pulling him in the bike event and pushing him for the run section. Together they completed a 400m swim, 10k bike ride and 2.5k run.

Maria and her son John

Maria said: “I've wanted to do an event with John for ages. I want him to experience everything life has to offer. I've been doing various sports for years including running with John. I've been swimming at a local lake for a while and I hire a trailer for John to sit in from quest88 for the bike part which I practised on safe routes like the Tissington trail and Kingsbury water park. However the most difficult part of the triathlon is the nerves beforehand….and remembering to bring all the equipment! “I chose to support Warwick Cancer Research Centre because I can't think of a better charity to fund and I know the money is spent wisely.”

The Superhero Triathlon took place on Saturday 19 August at Dorney Lake, Windsor and Maria and John were cheered on by her other son 13 year old Andrew and the boys’ father Alistair. Warwick Cancer Research Centre conducts innovative studies that will directly impact patients with cancer. Based at the University of Warwick it bring together experts from a range of fields such as medicine, life sciences, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and economics. Working closely with the Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, its researchers are active across local hospitals including University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).

Last year Maria raised £300 for the Centre and this year so far Maria has raised £160. Charlotte Maytum, Community Fundraiser at the Warwick Cancer Research Centre, said: “We are very grateful to Maria and John for their ‘Superhero’ feat to help us continue our research. We would love to hear from other individuals, organisations and companies who want to help support our work.”

Maria’s JustGiving page is at

23 August 2017

For further details contact Nicola Jones, Media Relations Manager University of Warwick 07920531221 or 02476574255