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Michael and ‘Mi Shell’ take on running challenge

Why take part in one half marathon, when you can compete in four…and raise vital funds for our patient care!

Personal trainer Michael King, who lives in Grenoside and is 58, will be one of the many St Luke's runners on the start line of the Sheffield Half Marathon on March 26.

But once he passes the finish line, the running will continue over the subsequent three weekends as grandad Michael competes three more half marathon routes in memory of wife Michelle, who was a St Luke’s patient before her death in 2019.

Psychiatric nurse Michelle was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 but having survived that initial illness, she was later found to have developed a brain tumour.

“In the end she went into St Luke’s and all I can say is that the support we received from everybody there was incredible,” said Michael.

“It might sound a strange thing to say but Michelle loved it at St Luke’s, she thought it was fantastic.

“She was there for three weeks and then she took a turn for the worse and she died in October 2019 but the care everybody gave her was really outstanding.”

Michael decided he wanted to raise money for St Luke’s, first with a funeral collection, then by taking part in Sheffield’s famous Percy Pud race, then completing a run of his own during lockdown, followed by an ascent of Scotland’s Ben Nevis - bringing his fundraising total to more than £8,000.

And he hopes to give that amount an even greater boost with his half marathon challenge, which he will complete in a distinctive turtle shell as a jokey tribute to his wife.

“She was always ‘Mi Shell’ to me so that’s what I’ll be running in,” said Michael, whose first self-planned route will take him from his home in Grenoside to one of Michelle’s favourite places, Wentworth Garden Centre.

He will follow that up with a run from home to Bradfield, taking in two more of Michelle’s favourite garden centres along the way.

And finally, he will run from St Luke’s to the Peak District town of Bakewell, another on Michelle’s top destinations.

“I will be honest and admit that I was apprehensive about Michelle going into St Luke’s because I thought it was just a place where people go to die,” said Michael.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong though - it was a positive, happy place and offered such great support to Michelle and the whole family.

“They give you support and love - and it is the love they give you that is so important.”

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