Mike McCann a 77-year-old fell runner completed his 25th Swaledale Marathon to raise awareness of prostate cancer and money for South Tees Hospitals Charity following his second battle with the disease.
From Brookfield, Mike has four grown up children and nine grandchildren; he was one of 34 members of Swift-tees community running group taking part in the gruelling run which this year experienced its worst ever weather conditions.
“In all my years of running the Swaledale Marathon this was the toughest and it had nothing to do with prostate cancer and everything to do with the conditions, it was like running through a bog,” he said.
Undeterred, all Swift-tees participants, including Mike, completed the 24 mile course helping to raise £2,000 which this year was donated to South Tees Hospitals Charity, bringing the total raised for charity by the running group to over £24,000.
“I wanted to raise awareness this year for men of all ages to get themselves checked for prostate cancer because it’s so important to catch it early; the statistics speak for themselves, one in eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK.
“It was my choice this year where the money raised would go and I could think of no better place than South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where I received all my treatment. It’s not even an original choice as I know that Swift-tees raised money for the trust’s chemotherapy day unit and ward 14 in the past.”
Mike, a retired Stockton Riverside College deputy principal, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 and was operated on by David Chadwick medical director and urology consultant at the trust.
Mike said: “After surgery David advised me that the cancer may return and sadly despite being clear for a number of years the cancer returned. I finished my 33 sessions of radiotherapy early this year and decided I would celebrate by taking part in the Swaledale Marathon in June.”
Mr Chadwick said: “Mike has shown remarkable powers of recovery and is an inspiration; his fighting spirit and ability to conquer obstacles put in his way are quite exceptional. We are very grateful to the money he continues to raise on our behalf.”