Mike's inspiring marathon journey

Cheshire resident completes the London Marathon to support DKMS, inspired by personal stories within his community.


"I wouldn't have wanted to change a thing about the day."

Meet Mike from Cheshire, a man who recently went the extra mile to support DKMS by participating in the London Marathon. His journey is not just about running a race; it's also about embracing challenges and making a meaningful impact.

Personal stories spark action

Mike's journey with DKMS began with a personal touch. He recalls, "I first heard about DKMS through Peter McCleave’s story . While I didn’t know Pete personally at the time, he lives in the same village as me. I heard about his campaign and it hit close to home. Being a father of two myself, I saw how blood cancer just blows your world apart. So, I signed up to the DKMS stem cell register."

The turning point came when Mike saw the impact power of stem cell donation through his colleague Matt's journey. "A few years later, I was working as an engineering manager and was mentoring a guy called Matt. In 2018, he was diagnosed with myeloma. He started undergoing intense chemotherapy and was given a year to live. However, DKMS was able to find a stem cell match for him on the register and he successfully underwent a lifesaving stem cell transplant. Six years later, he’s doing really well. In fact, he’s turning 40 this week!”

With these stories fuelling his passion, Mike embarked on a new challenge: running the 2024 London Marathon. Despite not being an avid runner, he recognized the need for a lifestyle change and joined a local running group, Tatton Hall Runners. When the opportunity arose to run for DKMS in the marathon, Mike didn't hesitate. "I had never considered running a marathon, the most I’d ever run was 10k, but I just thought ‘why not?’" he reflects.

From doubt to determination

The reality of the marathon hit him when he received his training plan. "It wasn’t until I was given my training plan that it sunk in. I realized: ‘this is going to be harder than I thought!’" Mike admits. However, his commitment to the cause kept him going. "I knew I needed something extra to motivate me so I decided to run for DKMS – in the hopes of raising awareness and money."

During the ups and downs of training, Mike found reassurance in his wife's support. "There were times during training where I was anxious and doubted myself. I 100% couldn’t have done it without my wife’s support". Despite pre-race worries, once he crossed the start line, Mike found his stride. "I loved every minute – I didn’t worry about the time and enjoyed interacting with the crowd," he recalls fondly.

DKMS 2024 London Marathon runner
Mike at the 2024 London Marathon for DKMS
Mike at the 2024 London Marathon
Mike with his medal at the 2024 London Marathon

The marathon became more than just a personal challenge; it was a platform to amplify DKMS's message. "At one point, a girl wearing a DKMS t-shirt tapped me on the shoulder – it was fantastic to see another person running for DKMS," Mike remembers. “My friends and family all came to support me. Seeing them, as well as seeing the DKMS team cheering, was the real boost I needed.”

You can make a difference too

Mike's dedication to making a difference, shows just how much the power of individual efforts can help make a difference. If you've been inspired by his story, join our Summer Challenge and become a part of a movement that's changing lives, doing your favourite activity.

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