Tag Archives: Annette Quarry

IN THE RACE FOR TRUTH, WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

It has been said that the truth is consistent. It has no need to keep changing its story because it has no need to. It is the truth.

By contrast, lies often change over time. Details are difficult to recall when they are made up and variations to a story, and details therein, expose it for the fiction it is.

In the Race for Truth, it is Jim Cowan versus Cancer Research UK. Who do you believe is speaking the truth about the creation of the Race for Life?

Jim Cowan.

Created the Race for Life in 1993 following his own father’s cancer diagnosis.

Launched the Race for Life in 1994 in Battersea Park in London.

Had the Race for Life stolen by Cancer Research UK employee Jill MacRae (nee Baker) in the winter of 1994/95.

His story has never wavered. His facts have never changed. His position is supported by documentary evidence and by witnesses.

Cancer Research UK.

In 1993, the Event Manager at Imperial Cancer Research UK (CRUK’s former name), Jill Macrae (nee Baker), wrote to Jim saying she was looking forward to meeting him to discuss his proposal.

In 1994, Jill MacRae confirmed in writing on Imperial Cancer Research Fund letterhead about the Race for Life; “Mr Cowan came to us with the original idea.”

In at Athletics Weekly article in 2000, Cancer Research UK’s Louise Holland claimed of the Race for Life, “the concept came from a series of run and walk events in the USA.”

In the same 2000 issue of Athletics Weekly an unnamed CRUK spokesperson claimed the Race for Life, “originated from Walk for a Cure.”

In the Glasgow Herald in September 2000 an unnamed CRUK spokesperson changed the story again to claim it; “originated from Race for the Cure.”

An OnRec article in March 2005 reported that Louise Holland had been awarded Motivator of the Year. She now claimed to have, “led and taken forward the Race for Life since it started in 1984.” (Note: It didn’t actually launch until 1994).

In 2008, Nottingham Trent University graduate Louise Holland was awarded with that university’s Alumnus of the Year Award although, strangely, she was now claiming to have taken over the running of the event in 1995.

In November 2013 Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via letter and social media claiming she had never heard of him and that she was the originator of the Race for Life. Later that month she contacted him again repeating her (false) claim.

Also in November 2013 MacRae edited the Race for Life page on Wikipedia claiming the event was created by her and Jane Arnell (a colleague at Imperial Cancer Research Fund at the time).

In December 2013 Jim Cowan responded robustly to MacRae’s correspondence. He never heard from her again and her false claim was removed from her social media profiles.

Also in December 2013, Jim Cowan provided evidence to Wikipedia that he had created the Race for Life. The page was amended accordingly with a link to the evidence (a 1994 letter from Jill MacRae).

In 2016 an undated interview with Jill MacRae was uncovered in Informed Edinburgh. When asked, “can you tell us a random fact about yourself?” her reply was, “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first event way back in 1993.” (Note: It was not launched until 1994. You would expect the person who created the event to know that).

In the same interview with Informed Edinburgh, MacRae was asked, “describe yourself in three words,” to which she replied, “creative, inquisitive, determined.” She has certainly demonstrated her creativity with her false Race for Life claims.

In 2017, Cancer Research UK officially stopped citing any origin or creator for the Race for Life, instead adopted a stance of, “not publicly crediting anyone.” (Note: “publicly”).

Despite this, in 2018, CRUK National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, cited yet another origin for the Race for Life, this time “the original pilot was from the American Cancer Society.”

In 2019, CRUK overruled Quarry stating (again) they “do not credit anyone.”

In 2020, following an ‘internal inquiry’ CRUK’s Simon Ledsham claimed to have, “exhausted all reasonable lines of enquiry” and to have been, “unable to find any solid evidence which supports Jim Cowan’s claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.” An inquiry which actually ignored solid evidence and did not talk to witnesses. An inquiry which CRUK refuse to open to public scrutiny. We can only wonder as to why that might be?

Jim Cowan.

Since 1993 has stuck to a single story, one supported by documents, by witnesses, by facts.

Cancer Research UK.

Ever changing stories, ignoring clearly false claims by former and current employees, hiding behind an ‘acknowledge no one’ line, providing no evidence, no witnesses, and refusing to allow public examination of their so-called inquiry.

In the Race for Truth, it is Jim Cowan versus Cancer Research UK. We know who we believe. What about you?

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

IS CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO MICHELLE MITCHELL THE UK CHARITY SECTOR’S BIGGEST HYPOCRITE?

One of the themes which keeps recurring when looking at the behaviours of those who lead Cancer Research UK is that of hypocrisy. At times that hypocrisy is so subtle it could be overlooked by those not aware of the facts of the charity’s treatment of Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life. And we can only wonder at what further hypocrisy they may be displaying in other areas we have less information about.

When the current Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, assumed her role a little over a year ago she was taking the reigns of an organisation where hypocrisy was already embedded as standard and acceptable behaviour by those at the top. We were hopeful that a new broom might bring more integrity and address the issue. Far from it. In fact, Mitchell has taken CRUK’s hypocrisy to new levels, and always delivered with a straight face and with no thought for the impact it has on others.

In 2018 we shared articles addressing CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy. We wondered at their then CEO, Sir Harpal Kumar, and his hypocrisy in steadfastly refusing to recognise (or even acknowledge) Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life while happily accepting recognition for his own work and achievements. Textbook hypocrisy.

We looked at the issue of hypocrisy across the charity and asked whether CRUK is the home of charity sector hypocrisy? And we looked at the charity’s Chairman, and its committees and Board of Trustees and exposed yet more examples of glaring hypocrisy.

So when CRUK announced that Michelle Mitchell would be succeeding Kumar we took the announcement with some optimism that a new leader might prove to be the turning point. That the charity might rediscover integrity and honesty and cease its hypocrisy.

It didn’t take long to discover that optimism was misplaced. Whether Mitchell brought her own hypocrisy with her or whether she just got consumed by CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy we don’t know. We do know that she has taken that hypocrisy to new levels.

On 20th January this year Mitchell tweeted, “A very important reminder today, and every day. Mental health matters, and mental health problems can be devastating. It’s something I’ve seen up close too many times, and proper support is vital.”

On the surface a positive tweet supporting an important issue. Except, and Mitchell is aware of this, her actions expose her comments as nothing more than PR, as spin. And as hypocrisy. 

It is hypocrisy. And it is hypocrisy she is aware of and therefore seemingly cares not a joy about. We know she is aware of it because in October last year when marking World Mental Health Day she also spoke about the importance of addressing mental health issues. We reminded her that neither her nor her organisation cared one jot about Jim Cowan’s mental health when spending 25 years lying about him, when covering up the fraud of their own employee who we have evidenced stole the idea for the Race for Life from Jim. When saying CRUK had never heard of Jim when a prospective employer was checking his CV, thus costing him a job offer. The list goes on. The stress, the pressure, the strain placed on Jim has been enormous. Mitchell’s response? Silence.

Does Mitchell or her organisation care about the possible toll on Jim’s mental health? No. Not a jot. To them mental health is a topic they are selective over, a topic with more value as a PR message than one requiring actions to back up their hollow words.

But hypocrisy demonstrated by her statements on mental health, while inexcusable, probably wouldn’t make Mitchell the charity sector’s biggest hypocrite. No, to award her with that title she would have to have displayed consistent hypocrisy across a range of topics, ably supported by statements from the the organisation she heads.

And, in the short time she has been in post as CEO at Cancer Research UK, we have already highlighted numerous examples of this hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy which comes from the top. It is hypocrisy deeply embedded within the charity’s culture.

27th January 2019: We reported on Mitchell’s tweet where she described as “amazing” meeting Grand Challenge winners. The hypocrisy of recognising some while refusing to recognise others was apparently lost on her.

4th February 2019: Mitchell tweeted about ‘volunteering’ at a Cancer Research UK event. No sign of any realisation that calling it volunteering when she is paid £240,000 p.a. to work for the organisation smacks of just a little hypocrisy.

15th April 2019: We reported how, following correspondence with Mitchell it had become abundantly clear that, while she was/is happy to receive recognition for her own work and achievements (including accepting an OBE), she was going to continue with Cancer Research UK’s policy of refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. An example of text book hypocrisy.

4th May 2019: We shared an analysis of correspondence between Jim Cowan and Michelle Mitchell which highlighted the ongoing hypocrisy of both the CEO and the organisation in refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for his amazing creation. The analysis also highlighted how Mitchell’s (delegated) response has failed to address a single issue raised in Jim’s correspondence. Given the importance Mitchell claims to place on collaboration (see 23rd October 2019 below) we can only wonder at her continued desire not to recognise the importance to her organisation of Jim choosing to collaborate with her charity when he created the Race for Life? It is clearly hypocritical and surely any sensible person or organisation would think twice before collaborating with CRUK in future, especially given their willingness to cover up the fraud of their employee who stole the idea from Jim. Textbook hypocrisy but definitely not textbook collaboration.

19th May 2019: We took a look at examples which demonstrate how deeply embedded hypocrisy is in the culture at Cancer Research UK, including examples of hypocrisy from those at the very top.

5th June 2019: To mark Volunteers Week, Cancer Research UK were again busy on social media, busy thanking and recognising their volunteers. This is as it should be but we questioned the sincerity of those thanks given that no such words of thanks, or even recognition has ever been extended to Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. Hypocritically given thank-yous are not thank-yous at all, merely hollow words.

11th June 2019: We gave Mitchell a new title as Cancer Research UK’s ‘Hypocrite in Chief’ when reporting how, yet again, she was gushing on Twitter about CRUK employees receiving recognition for their achievements in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Again, the hypocrisy of doing so while refusing any recognition to Jim Cowan for his incredible creation seemed to pass her by.

13th June 2019: Again the social media world was awash with posts and tweets from CRUK. This time they were asking people to nominate their Race for Life Hero (or Heroes). With a straight face they asked for nominations in the full knowledge that without Jim Cowan there would be no Race for Life and therefore no Race for Life Heroes. Our supporters rallied around and nominated Jim as their Hero. Sadly theirs were the only posts and tweets responding to the request which received no reply. Mitchell’s organisation once again providing an outstanding example of hypocrisy.

7th August 2019: We questioned the hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK selling pitches to caterers who were selling bacon rolls and other bacon products at 2019 Race for Life venues. Why? This is the same Cancer Research UK, the one led by Mitchell, which warns people that bacon is carcinogenic (cancer causing). We wondered whether they saw the hypocrisy in effectively saying, “Bacon is carcinogenic. It causes cancer. Here, have a bacon roll while we pop to the bank!”

15th August 2019: In an interview in Third Sector magazine, Ed Aspell, CRUK’s Director of Fundraising announced plans to retire at the end of the year. In the interview Aspel revealed that he would love to have come up with “that one, radical, transformational change that is different from the traditional model…” Had he done so, it is very reasonable to assume the charity would have lauded his achievement and praised him with recognition. The very opposite of what they have done with Jim Cowan who came up with just such a game changer when creating the Race for Life in 1993.

17th September 2019: Having tweeted about talking to Cancer Research UK supporters about the charity’s history, we replied to her asking how accurate that history is? After all, we know that her organisation has spent over a quarter of a century trying to rewrite the history of the Race for Life and attempting to erase its creator from its history. What we don’t know is what else the charity claims as its ‘history’ is also made up to fit whatever tale they would rather spin. How anyone could be expected to trust any organisation, let alone a charity, which acts in this way, we are at a loss to explain. The ensuing silence from Mitchell suggests she is too.

23rd October 2019: Addressing the NPC Ignites conference, Mitchell talked at length about the importance of collaboration to the charity sector. We can only wonder at her sincerity given her organisation’s history of stealing ideas from those seeking to collaborate with them. The Race for Life comes to mind. Maybe not sincerity, more hypocrisy. We raised the issue with her but, as per usual, the silence in response was deafening. And it wasn’t a one off oversight on her part. Mitchell has continued voicing her hypocritical line on collaboration since, for example in Civil Society magazine on 26th November.

4th November 2019: After a supporter got in touch to tell us about Mitchell’s hypocritical tweet on 10th October marking World Mental Health Day, we reported the facts, highlighted the hypocrisy, and via Twitter (seemingly her favourite platform for communication) asked Mitchell if she cared to reply? Other than as a tool for PR and spin, mental health is not as important a subject to Mitchell and her organisation as they would like us to believe. Or is it just Jim Cowan’s mental health she cares nothing about? Whichever it is, her hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see.

8th January 2020: Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s Media Relations Officer in Scotland, tweeted that she was “so proud to be a part of this” when retweeting a Race for Life tweet. Given her profile states ‘media with honesty’ we challenged her on whether she would be “applying some of that honesty and recognising the man who created the Race for Life? Or did she support CRUK’s lies for the last 25 years, covering up of fraud, etc. Honesty: words or deeds?” Her response was to hide our tweet. Media with honesty? Or gross hypocrisy? You decide.

12th January 2020: In a repeat of their hypocrisy of 13th June 2019 (see above), the charity headed by Mitchell again asked for nominations for Race for Life Heroes. Race 4 Truth supporters again rallied round and nominated Jim Cowan. Again, they were the only nominations, to date, to be ignored.

20th January 2020: As reported above, Mitchell again used the issue of mental health for PR and spin purposes. At least we assume it to be PR and spin because, surely, if she really took the issue seriously she would give far greater consideration to Jim Cowan’s mental health given her charity’s shocking treatment of him.

It is quite a year (and a bit) Mitchell has had in her new role. It is far from easy to reach, let alone sustain, such levels of hypocrisy. That hypocrisy has, under her leadership, reached new levels and remained deeply embedded in the culture at Cancer Research UK. 

For 26 years this unethical, immoral, hypocritical organisation (and its leadership) have waged a campaign of lies about the origins of the Race for Life, inconsistent lies at that. They have attempted to erase the event’s creator from its history. They have covered up the fraud of Jill MacRae, the employee who originally stole the idea from Jim Cowan.

For the record, that Jim created the Race for Life can be evidenced and witnesses are willing to come forward. That Jill MacRae stole the event can also be evidenced. Sadly, the truth, the facts, do not fit the story Mitchell and Cancer Research UK want to tell the world. They have been offered the opportunity to view evidence, to see correspondence from 1993 and 1994 which prove the event’s origins. They have ignored these offers while acknowledging they have no records of their own

We find it hard to believe there can be a more hypocritical CEO in the charity sector, or a charity where hypocrisy is more deeply embedded than at Cancer Research UK. And we can only wonder at the breadth and depth of that hypocrisy given what we have discovered is likely to only scratch the surface given the size of the organisation.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Hypocrisy’ thus: a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: e.g “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.” 

Created by Jim Cowan, the Race for Life, is well on its way to raising its first £1 Billion. An astonishing amount. 

If that isn’t worthy of recognition, we struggle to figure out what is. And it is in the accepting of recognition for themselves while denying it to others that the hypocrisy of Michelle Mitchell and Cancer Research UK really stands out.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S MANY & VARIED TALES ON THE CREATION OF THE RACE FOR LIFE

Given Cancer Research UK’s continued lies about Jim Cowan and the claim he did not create the Race for Life, even recently costing him a job offer, you would think they would offer an alternative as to where the event started, as to how it was created.

After all, they must have records of the discussions and the meetings which led to the event’s creation? And, given that, surely they paint a consistent story as to the events beginnings?

Well, no. They don’t. But that is the problem with falsehoods, eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, we did a little research which has exposed a story which keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in less than a day’s digging, this is what we have uncovered:

1994

In a letter from Jill MacRae (nee Baker), its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.

1995

After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a successful career in the sector on her false claim.

2000

In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF/CRUK spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.”

In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, the Race for Life’s then Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.”

2013

In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” 

MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. This 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. Since launching Race 4 Truth last year, we have shared other evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position.

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

He added, “It also appears that at some stage you made a conscious decision to claim the idea as your own, whether by misleading your colleagues at the ICRF or with their collusion is unclear.” 

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since.

2016

Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK.” The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case.” Indeed, she doesn’t even seem to know in which year the first Race for Life was staged (it was 1994 and was organised by Jim Cowan).

2017

In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of their previous claims Cancer Research UK and Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event, the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.

2018

Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again. In May of 2018 Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.

2019

Writing on behalf of Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive (Michelle Mitchell), CRUK’s Complaints Manager (Graeme McCluskey) repeated the “we do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event line.” This was in response to Jim Cowan offering to sit down and share documents evidencing his being the event’s creator. 

Indeed, rather than accept the offer, CRUK’s stance was to state the blindingly obvious, that they have no documents from the beginnings of the Race for Life. Rather than correct the misinformation they have shared for 25 years, rather than get the history of the event right, they deliberately chose to continue their integrity fee campaign to erase Jim Cowan from the event’s history.

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story keeps changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout. 
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has.

The truth is consistent. Cancer Research UK are not.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK REFUSING TO CORRECT TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF LYING ABOUT RACE FOR LIFE

For 25 years, Cancer Research UK have lied about Jim Cowan and the creation of the Race for Life. Their lies have cost him the recognition and thanks he so thoroughly deserves and have even cost him a job offer. 

Sadly, even though they know the facts, rather than correct 25 years of lies, they have chosen to simply pretend the lies never happened and have assumed a stance which continues to exclude Jim from his rightful place in the event’s history.

The problem with falsehoods, with lies, is that eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else entirely, catching yourself out. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Indeed, in recent correspondence, Cancer Research UK acknowledged that they have kept no records from the creation and launch of the landmark fundraising event. But, ever keeping their heads in the sand when confronted by facts, they declined Jim Cowan’s offer to meet with them and share copies of documents from 1993 and 1994 which clearly evidence the idea was his and his alone.

But how many lies have been told in that quarter of a century? We have no way of knowing! So, interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, Race 4 Truth carried out a little research which has exposed a story which, as such fictions do, keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in less than one day’s digging, this is what we uncovered:

1994

In a letter from Jill MacRae, its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.

1995

After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a career on the false, probably fraudulent, claim and is currently the Business Development Manager at Barnardo’s.

2000

In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.” In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, ICRF’s Race for Life Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.” They couldn’t even keep their lies consistent for a week

2013

In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. The 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. Over the past year, we have shared more evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position and which debunks MacRae’s lies.

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since. Why not, we wonder? Interestingly, MacRae has since removed the false claim from all of her online profiles. We wonder whether she still uses the lie on her CV? That, of course, would be fraud.

2016

Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK. The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case” providing evidence debunking her lie.

2017

In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of the previous claims Cancer Research UK and, primarily, Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event (how could they?), the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.

2018

Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again, but in May 2018, Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.

2019

We had hoped that Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, might take the opportunity to put the record straight and restore some of the charity’s missing integrity. Unfortunately not. Despite Jim’s offer to meet her and provide her with documentary evidence, she ducked responding herself, delegating the task to her Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey. He used the excuse that the organisation do not have any internal records of Jim’s involvement with the Race for Life. In place of taking the opportunity to view and discuss evidence, Cancer Research UK have kept their collective heads buried deep in the sand. An opportunity to correct 25 years of lies was passed up; no corrections, no apologies, just very deliberate ignorance of the facts displaying a complete absence of integrity

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story has kept changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout.
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has. Race 4 Truth will continue sharing that evidence over the coming weeks, months, and years.

Here is another fact for Cancer Research UK; the truth is consistent, it has no need to vary its story in the way that Cancer Research UK’s fiction has. Jim’s truth can be proven. Their lies cannot. 

Ask yourself, who do you believe? Jim Cowan or Cancer Research UK?

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

CANCER RESEARCH UK TAKING AN OSTRICH LIKE VIEW TO FACTS

In our most recent articles we have shared correspondence from both Race 4 Truth and from Jim Cowan to Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, asking her to reconsider the organisation’s refusal to recognise Jim for creating the Race for Life.

For your reference, you can read our letter to Mitchell here, and her non-response here, followed by Jim Cowan’s follow up to her here.

After a wait of four weeks, Jim did eventually receive a reply although not from Mitchell, instead from her organisation’s Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey. We share that letter here with analysis of its content below.

It is perhaps telling that Mitchell does not extend the courtesy of replying herself, perhaps choosing to create distance between herself and the charity’s continuing and deliberate ignoring of the facts?

We had hoped when Mitchell was appointed that a new broom might see the dawn of a new culture at CRUK however, the reference to CRUK Chairman Sir Leszek Borysiewicz’s September 2017 correspondence tells us that under the new CEO’s guidance it will be ‘old broom, old culture’ – a culture lacking integrity and of questionable ethics, not to mention hugely hypocritical.

McCluskey, on behalf of Mitchell, repeats the mantra of “we do not credit anyone with originating any of our events”, stating that CRUK’s position has not changed. It sounds reasonable but is far from it.

  1. Cancer Research UK lied about the origins of the Race for Life for nearly a quarter of a century (outlined here). The ‘we do not credit anyone’ line was introduced in 2017 solely to avoid having to face up to and admit those lies. Many of those lies remain in the public domain, uncorrected. Any organisation with integrity would address this as a matter of urgency.
  2. The Race for Life is the only CRUK event which was not developed in-house or by hired contractor. Therefore any rule applying to it being developed internally and individuals responsible not being recognised should not apply.
  3. The event was entirely conceived independently of CRUK by Jim Cowan (see article here) and with the intention he organise and develop it. After he took it to Cancer Research UK (then known as Imperial Cancer Research Fund) proposing it could be a huge event raising funds for them, it was their staff who effectively stole the event by trademarking it behind Jim’s back before informing him he was no longer needed.
  4. They regularly credit, recognise, and thank individuals and organisations external to CRUK for organising fundraising events and challenges for them. Hypocrisy at its best.
  5. They happily accept recognition both for individuals and collectively as an organisation from external bodies. More hypocrisy.
  6. And even more hypocritically, their Chairman (a knighthood), their previous CEO (a knighthood – see article here), and Mitchell herself (an OBE) have happily accepted honours in recognition of their own achievements while refusing to recognise Jim Cowan.

McCluskey’s letter continues by claiming the charity has no record of the communication regarding the job opportunity lost to Jim when CRUK stated they had never heard of him (article here). Apart from being very convenient, it seems to support a view that record keeping within the organisation is somewhat lax and a long way short of what should be expected.

Cancer Research UK, the letter states, has neither employee nor contractor records going back to 1994. What the relevance of this is we do not know, other than to deliberately evade the fact that Jim Cowan was neither an employee nor a contractor in 1993 when he proposed the event to them, nor in 1994 when he organised the very first Race for Life.

McCluskey then reports that his organisation has no internal records of Jim’s involvement either,  suggesting they know he was neither employee nor contractor.

  1. Apart from being very convenient for CRUK it is also not unsurprising given it is highly likely that their then employee Jill MacRae would have covered her tracks and removed evidence to the contrary when falsely and fraudulently claiming to be the event’s originator in 1994/5 (details here and here).
  2. Regardless of (1), Jim offered to meet and share documentary evidence with Mitchell. Given the admission that CRUK has no documentary evidence of their own concerning the origins of the event, some might consider it strange that they have no interest (indeed, make no mention of) this offer. This is the ostrich approach, keeping their heads buried in the sand to avoid hearing facts that support a truth they know but won’t acknowledge. Yet again, this brings the organisation’s integrity into question.
  3. They know the lies they told over 25 years do not hold water. Indeed their lies contradict each other so frequently did they change their story prior to assuming their present ‘we don’t credit anyone’ position. They know they backed a fake and a fraudster in MacRae and rather than do the right thing and show some integrity they choose to keep the truth buried, thereby continuing to support the lie through their silence and their ‘credit no one’ stance.
  4. Indeed, it is about much more than giving credit where credit is due; it is about doing the right thing. What is it that they are so scared of that they do not even want to meet Jim to see and discuss his evidence which includes original documentation?
  5. The only logical conclusion is that they lack the collective moral compass, moral leadership and integrity to do the right thing and admit that they got it wrong.
  6. CRUK’s stance stems back to MacRae’s theft of the event from Jim. Everything since has been to protect that lie. Maybe initially CRUK were unaware but integrity would demand that once exposed, the lie be corrected, apologies made, and due recognition given.

Without correcting the lies of the last 25 years, many of their own staff are in ignorance of the event’s origins having been sold those same lies by their employer; a situation damning of the organisation’s leadership over that time. This is demonstrated by their National Events Manager, Annette Quarry’s (a CRUK employee of over ten years) misinformed insistence that the event originated with the American Cancer Society. This, in 2018 after the ‘credit no one’ policy was supposedly in place. One can only wonder at which version of CRUK’s fake history others in their current and former employ subscribe to. We do know it won’t be the factual version.

In addition to highlighting a disturbing absence in integrity within such a large charity, the ‘credit no one’ stance is extremely hypocritical.

  1. As mentioned above, Borysiewicz (Chairman), Harpal Kumar (previous CEO), and Mitchell have all accepted recognition for themselves while denying recognition for Jim Cowan.
  2. CRUK and Race for Life’s social media are littered with recognition and thanks for their own staff and volunteers while continuing to deny any recognition to Jim Cowan.
  3. CRUK are happy to accept recognition and thanks from others while continuing to deny any recognition and thanks to Jim Cowan.
  4. CRUK regularly thank and recognise a range of external fundraisers, volunteers, and events while (you guessed it) continuing to deny any recognition and thanks to Jim Cowan.

Given all of the above, is it any wonder that Mitchell has chosen not to meet with Jim? Is it any wonder that she delegated even replying to his letter? Perhaps, she is fully aware of the facts around the creation of the Race for Life, she is aware that the charity she now leads has lied about that creation for a quarter of a century? Whether she is aware or not, she should be. It is part of her role as CEO to be informed on such matters. The integrity and moral compass of the charity are being brought into question under her watch. That she chooses to distance herself is incriminating even without considering any/all of the above.

The correspondence between Race 4 Truth, Michelle Mitchell, and Jim Cowan started in January and concluded in April. During that correspondence Race 4 Truth and Jim raised several key points to Mitchell, points which needed addressing or, at a minimum, acknowledging:

  1. That the original motivation behind Jim creating the Race for Life was his own father’s eventually fatal cancer diagnosis. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  2. That there was documentary evidence available to support the facts and to prove that Jim was the creator of the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  3. That, in addition to documentary evidence, witnesses were available to support the fact that Jim created the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  4. That one of their own employees falsely and fraudulently claimed to be the originator of the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  5. The question of the integrity of the charity were its current stance on the creation of the Race for Life to continue. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  6. The question of hypocrisy of the charity and, individually, of its leadership were its current stance on the creation of the Race for Life to continue. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  7. The offer to meet, discuss and share evidence proving who was responsible for the creation of the Race for Life was also IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK

In the interests of balance, the following are those items raised during our correspondence not ignored by Cancer Research UK:

1.

Cancer Research UK’s stance can only be described as ostrich like. They know the facts are out there, they know they have been wrong for 25 years, but so long as they keep their head buried in the sand, they can continue to ignore the truth.

IN THE RACE 4 TRUTH, CANCER RESEARCH UK ARE LAGGING BEHIND.

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S MANY AND VARIED TALES ON THE CREATION OF THE RACE FOR LIFE DON”T HOLD WATER

Given Cancer Research UK continue to lie about Jim Cowan and their claim he did not create the Race for Life, even recently costing him a job offer, you would think they would offer an alternative as to where the event started, as to how it was created?

After all, they must have records of the discussions and the meetings which led to the event’s creation? And, given that, surely they paint a consistent story as to the events beginnings?

Well, no. They don’t.

But that is the problem with falsehoods, with lies, eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else entirely, catching yourself out. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, Race 4 Truth carried out a little research which has exposed a story which, as such fictions do, keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in only one day’s digging, this is what we uncovered:

1994

In a letter from Jill MacRae, its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.

1995

After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a career on the false, probably fraudulent claim.

2000

In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.”

In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, ICRF’s Race for Life Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.”

2013

In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. This 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. (Over the months, we have shared more evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position and debunks MacRae’s lies).

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since.

2016

Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK. The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case” providing evidence debunking her lie.

2017

In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of the previous claims Cancer Research UK and, primarily, Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event, the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.

2018

Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again, but in May this year, Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story keeps changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout.
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has. Race 4 Truth will continue sharing that evidence over the coming weeks and months.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CRUK CEO RESPONDS TO RACE 4 TRUTH SUPPORTER’S EMAIL

On 10th May, Race 4 Truth supporter Pete Brindle emailed Sir Harpal Kumar, the CEO of Cancer Research UK, to express his disappointment at the charity’s refusal to acknowledge Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life and, as a result, to notify him that he was withdrawing his support. You can read that email here.

Yesterday (29th May), Pete got in touch to let us know that he has received a reply from Kumar. This is what he wrote:

“Dear Mr Brindle,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your email advising us that you are cancelling your regular donation to Cancer Research UK. I’m sorry that you feel this way but pleased that a smaller charity in the same sector will now benefit from your support.

You are quite right that our Race 4 Life event series is significant in both its popularity with our supporters and in the funds raised over the years towards our research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. However, we do not credit anyone with originating any of our events, but choose instead to focus on making them as successful as possible to fund our life-saving work.

Unfortunately, I am unable to comment specifically about the content of your email concerning Mr Cowan’s involvement, as this is a personal matter between Cancer Research UK and Mr Cowan.

Thank you for the support you have provided to Cancer Research UK to date. It is very much appreciated.

Kind regards

Harpal Kumar

Sir Harpal S Kumar

Chief Executive Officer,

Cancer Research UK”

While we thank Kumar for taking the time to reply to Pete, his response, while disappointing, is not unexpected.

On 18th May, we reported how many different versions Cancer Research UK had for who created the Race for Life (and those were just the ones we could trace).

After years of (not unsurprisingly given they were not telling the truth) being unable to tell a consistent story, we reported that they now appeared to have a policy of reporting that they, “do not credit anyone with originating the event.” That policy has been their consistent line since last year; barring one new (and false) claim from their National Events Manager Annette Quarry earlier this month.

Quarry’s claim aside, after years of being unable to tell a consistent story, it appears Cancer Research UK have decided on a policy of acknowledging no one, over one of giving credit where it is due. But then, giving credit where it is due would mean acknowledging the falsehoods they shared in the past.

We also note the comment that this, “is a personal matter between Cancer Research UK and Mr Cowan.”

They are right. It is VERY personal. Especially when Cancer Research UK are costing Mr Cowan jobs by denying they have ever heard of him, thus bringing his (honest) CV into question. Perhaps Kumar would like to enlighten us as to why?

Sir Harpal Kumar’s response is telling. In refusing to credit anyone with the creation of the Race for Life, he avoids lying about the event’s true origins in the way the charity has done for nearly a quarter of a century. It is worth noting that he chooses not to deny that Jim Cowan created the event. Why not, if previous CRUK yarns were true?

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

If, like Pete, you would like to withdraw your support for Cancer Research UK in light of our campaign, please do not stop supporting vital research into cancer via other charities.

THE RACE 4 TRUTH – HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can help us to persuade Cancer Research UK to finally recognise Jim Cowan as the creator of the Race for Life.

How?

Use one or more of the following ideas to expose the lies and share the facts:

  • Like, share, follow, tweet and retweet.

Make social media do the leg work. When you see a post or a tweet from us, like it and share it to help us get the facts out there.

Race 4 Truth on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter.

  • Tell friends and family about the Race 4 Truth.

Word of mouth, whether online, by phone, or face to face is still the most effective way to share news about a campaign.

  • Comment on (or tweet to) Cancer Research UK’s and Race for Life’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Direct interaction will force a quicker response and puts them in a position where they have to choose between more lies or admitting to the truth.

Cancer Research UK on Facebook and on Twitter.

Race for Life on Facebook and on Twitter.

  • Tell the media about the Race 4 Truth campaign.

Whether local or national, whether printed, online, radio, or television, Cancer Research UK are far more likely to correct the wrongs of the past if there is a media spotlight on them. Write, email, or engage via social media to get journalists informed.

  • Write to or email Cancer Research UK.

Demand answers as to their history of falsifying the creation of the Race for Life and ask why they are not telling the truth, why they do not give Jim Cowan due credit?

Cancer Research UK Chief Executive:

Write to him at: Sir Harpal S Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AD.

Email him at: harpal.kumar@cancer.org.uk

Cancer Research UK National Events Manager:

Write to her at: Annette Quarry, National Events Manager, Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AD.

Email her at: annette.quarry@cancer.org.uk

  • Withdraw your support from Cancer Research UK.

Nothing will get results faster than hitting them in the pocket. Don’t enter the Race for Life, don’t take part in their other events, don’t donate, don’t play their lottery, don’t leave them anything in your will…..don’t support them.

But do continue to support research into cancer by switching your support to other charities:

The Institute of Cancer Research

Worldwide Cancer Research

World Cancer Research Fund

Don’t let dishonesty win.

Support the Race 4 Truth.