A NORTON man is aiming to run more than 1,000 miles this year to help raise awareness about the importance of signing up to the blood stem cell registers.

Michael Hill is running 1,127 miles, the equivalent of York to London and John O’Groats to Land’s End, to support Anthony Nolan and DKMS , the blood cancer charity, after losing his father, David, to acute myeloid leukaemia.

The 36-year-old is also taking on his first ultra marathon on October 14, from Staxton to Norton, via the Centenary Way in memory of his dad.

Michael said: “I’m under no illusions that for me, a non-runner three years ago, this will be one of the hardest challenges I have ever taken on.

“I had planned to do the Yorkshire Marathon in October, but with all races cancelled, I’ve decided to attempt this with a small group of runner from See York Run York. My route has been carefully planned to take in some of the stunning views of the Yorkshire Wolds, but allows me to return to a bus stop if I am unable to complete the challenge, which I’m hoping doesn’t happen.”

Michael’s dad, who was 55, was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2017 after suffering flu-like symptoms and finding a lump under his arm.

He underwent intensive chemotherapy, which he at first responded to, however the leukaemia came back aggressive and despite finding a blood stem cell donor, David died in May 2019.

Michael said: “My dad’s long battle with leukaemia and his passing has been difficult, but if I can help save someone’s life by raising funds and awareness, it will have been worth it. I know that won’t bring my dad back, but he has always had a passion for helping others and I want to continue that for him.

“Dad was a fighter and he had a motto that ‘giving up is never an option’ and it’s true. He knew that the end was near but still he never gave up. I want to encourage as many people as possible to register as stem cell donors and give all of those patients and their families out there hope for the future.”

If you are aged between 17 to 55 you can sign up for a home swab kit online at dkms.org.uk/bcam2020. To donate to Michael’s challenge, go to/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MichaelDHill