Mick finishes Great South Run after he beats blood cancer

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SURVIVOR Mick Byrne took on the Great South Run a year to the day he was discharged from hospital after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Now in remission, Mick, 48, of Randolph Road, in North End, Portsmouth, was diagnosed with the cancer in April last year.

Mark Jackson, Mick Byrne and Craig Tucker

Mark Jackson, Mick Byrne and Craig Tucker

HGV driver Mick completed the 10-mile course through the city yesterday, living by his new attitude of completing anything he attempts to do.

Speaking to The News after the race he said he took part to raise cash for future research into the condition and to tell other cancer patients not to give up.

Mick, who was only diagnosed after he went for a check up, said: ‘It was really emotional, especially on the start.

‘I’ve raised just more than £1,200 and I was thinking every mile I cover that’s £120 going toward research.

‘It kept me going, I wasn’t going to give up, that wasn’t an option.’

‘I wanted to give people hope, leukaemia is not a killer, you can get over it and you can get back to doing normal things.

‘I did walk for a little bit and even that was hard.’

Mick has undergone four chemotherapy treatments, and was in remission from the first one.

But he suffered from infections after the treatments, and had his final treatment a year ago yesterday at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.

Mick’s partner Angie Tucker, 49, said: ‘I never thought he would do it. I’m tremendously proud of him.’

Mick added: ‘I stayed positive, I was myself, it didn’t bring me down that much.

‘I felt more sorry for my family, what Angie had to go through and my mum and dad just coming into their eighties, the shock to them must have been even worse.’

And all runners, around 25,000 of them, won praise from the organisers.

Colin Goater, one of the founders of the event, said despite the weather, the event had gone well.

‘I thought it went extremely well,’ he said.

‘We were worried, certainly I was, about the weather and the wind but it worked out well. There were no major issues.

‘I think we would say we were very pleased with the event. There were so many smiling and happy faces – it was amazing.’

With more than 4,000 participants in the Great South Run 5km and the Junior and Mini Great South Run on Saturday, a record 30,000 are believed to have taken part across the weekend.