A SHROPSHIRE man diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer is taking on a challenge to swim 15 kilometres through August to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Mike Halliday from Cleobury Mortimer decided to take part in Swim15 in the hope of raising awareness of the disease and its symptoms.

Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK, making it the fourth most common cancer.

The event takes place in August and asks people to get sponsored to complete their own swimming challenge that incorporates the number 15. Whether that’s 15 laps a day, swimming for 15 days or racking up 15 kilometres throughout the month, each fundraiser can set their own goals that suits their fitness.

The funds raised will help stop people dying of bowel cancer by raising awareness of the disease, and funding vital services and lifesaving research.

Mr Halliday, 51, said: “Cancer has affected my perspective on what matters in life. It sounds odd, but it materialised at a time when I had been reflecting on my past achievements and hoping this would awaken ideas for a different route in life. I considered what could be ahead of me, how I could use my existing skill set in a way to help others.

He said his 'red-flag' symptoms had materialised over a long period of time, and included a lump in his stomach and weight loss. He decided to get checked after a friend was diagnosed iwth bowel cancer.

A colonoscopy confirmed he had stage four cancer, as it had spread to his liver.

In between an operation, three months of chemotherapy, a liver resurrection and a further three months of chemo, he managed to complete a triathlon.

Mr Halliday has now finished treatment and has reduced energy, but still tries to run and swim twice a week, and has started an awareness campaign with his employer and local golf course.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Whether it’s in open water or a pool, grab your goggles and help stop people dying of bowel cancer. Sign up today for Bowel Cancer UK’s Swim15 challenge and get a free swimming badge: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/Swim15