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Man to run Porthcawl 10K as part of bowel cancer recovery

A 59-YEAR old man from Margam will be taking on the Ogi Porthcawl 10K as he recovers from bowel cancer treatment.

Mike Churchill, who works as a printer, had always been fit and active, regularly running and taking part in triathlons when he was younger.

He was very in tune with his body which is why, when something didn’t seem quite right in April 2022, he went to see his doctor.

Mike, who is father to Harrison, 23, said: “I was training to do the Cardiff Half and didn’t feel that fit, which I put down to ageing and getting slower. I then went on holiday with some friends but came back with an upset stomach.

“I didn’t think much of it at first – but it lingered for a couple of weeks, my training became hard and I was really tired all the time.

“I just didn’t feel right, my breathing was getting difficult just walking up stairs, so I decided to go to the doctors thinking I might have something like a milk allergy as I was bloated too.”

At the doctors that September, Mike had the FIT test and 10 days later he received a phone call. They had detected some abnormalities and he needed to have an endoscopy. 

In October 2022 Mike went for the procedure at Singleton Hospital, with his wife Jayne. That’s when they discovered he had bowel cancer.

Mike said: “I was in complete shock.  I just felt numb. I couldn’t believe it as my lifestyle was good – I ate well and I was fit.

“They told me it was stage 1 going on to stage 2 but it had been caught early and there was a 90% cure rate. I’d need surgery to remove the tumour.”

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Mike’s surgery was scheduled for 5 December that year, which Mike said seemed to take forever to come around.

He said: “The surgeon removed 13 inches of my bowel and I was warned that I’d may need a stoma bag. While the surgery was invasive, I didn’t end up needing one.

“They did a biopsy after my surgery but detected that there were still traces of the cancer in my blood. I needed to have chemo to mop up and kill any remaining cancer cells to increase my chances of surviving.”

In February 2023 Mike started chemotherapy, taking tablets every 12 hours which really took its toll. He then started his second round of chemo, which ended that July.

Thankfully Mike has since been given the ‘all clear’ and continues to have checks every three months. He says he is slowly getting stronger and is looking forward to taking on the Ogi Porthcawl 10K on Sunday 7 July.

Mike said: “I’m not bothered about my time – I’m just focusing on getting stronger. I’m an accepting person and have done a reset – I need to throw away what’s happened before and know that I’m a new Mike. Having cancer has made me look at everything differently.

“I tell everyone now to pay attention to any changes in their body and to get checked out – I can’t scream it enough, especially once you get to 50.”

Matt Newman, Chief Executive at event organisers Run 4 Wales, added: “We’re so pleased to hear that Mike is now doing well and that the Ogi Porthcawl 10K is giving him something to work towards as he continues to get stronger as he recovers from treatment. He is such an inspirational runner with an important message to share and we look forward to cheering him around the course.”

Mike is raising money for Bowel Cancer UK. To donate visit his page here: www.justgiving.com/page/mike-churchill-1711568507000

For more information about the Ogi Porthcawl 10K visit: www.porthcawl10k.co.uk/

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