A BUTCHER diagnosed with prostate cancer is keen to raise awareness of the illness and is helping to raise thousands for charity.

Mick Kirk of Angus Morton Butchers in Richmond said his 'world turned upside down' following his diagnosis last September.

After enduring 37 treatments of radical radiotherapy, Mr Kirk is now receiving ongoing treatment that is keeping the cancer under control.

His daughter Amy pledged to tackle the Tough Mudder obstacle course to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and friends, family and butchers staff have since swelled the numbers taking part to around 17.

Between them they have raised more than £3,000.

Mr Kirk, 59, says he hopes his story will give others the courage to get themselves checked out and to be more open about the illness.

He said: "It started off when I went out for a drink with my brother.

"I went to the toilet during the first pint, and then we went somewhere else and when I was halfway down my second pint I needed the loo again.

"My brother said 'you need to go to the doctor's', thinking that maybe I'd be told I had a water infection or something like that.

"But obviously it turned out to be a lot worse."

Early detection is often key in cancer survival, but Mr Kirk said that men in particular are often reluctant to see their doctor.

He said: "When I was first diagnosed I was very naive; I didn't know anything about prostate cancer and a lot of us are guilty of that one."

Mr Kirk added that there was 'an awful lot of support' available from charities such as Macmillan and he also praised the 'absolutely fabulous' staff at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough and nurses at the Friarage in Northallerton.

The fundraising Tough Mudder course takes place in Skipton on July 28 and the day before, Angus Morton Butchers will be fundraising in the shop throughout the day.

Donations can be made in the shop or online at justgiving.com