THE care given by staff at St Rocco’s to his nan had a lasting impact on a businessman who has decided to embark on gruelling 80km run.

Michael Douglass, 33, director of Yellowbus Solutions in Birchwood, will take on the Chester 80km Ultra Run on Saturday.

The dad to Harrison said: “It changed my perception of time, values and all I wanted to do was make a difference.

"Obviously, I’m in no position to be able to cure cancer, but the best thing I could do was raise money.

“I started training more than seven years ago and took on some big challenges to raise money for St Rocco’s and other cancer charities.”

Before this, he had heard of the Bewsey-based charity but says didn’t but didn’t have an appreciation for the work and support they provided until they started caring for his nan, Ivy Threlfall. 

Michael, from Birchwood, added: “It was a hard experience for the entire family but we couldn’t have asked for a better place for my nan to be looked after.

“The facility, the friendly staff and the environment was great, which all helps during a difficult time.”

Fast forward to today, and Mike has once again felt motivated to do something big for St Rocco’s culminating in Saturday's run.

With limited time for training and only three months to get up to speed, Mike got in touch with Anthony Shaw, owner and head coach of Raw Strength in Birchwood.

Anthony jumped at the opportunity to train Mike using strength and condition training.

It’s a challenge for both as Anthony has never trained someone with this technique to run an ultra marathon.

Mike said: “The appreciation for the life and time that I gained those years ago is still with me and has only been amplified by having a family of my own. I’m still driven to give something back and to start raising funds again for St Rocco’s.”

If you would like to support Mike and patient care at St Rocco’s, you can sponsor him at or follow him on Twitter via @mikejdouglass.