FRIENDS of a York chef with cancer are fundraising to help him and his family, and have thanked local businesses for their support.

Mike Cushing, 46, of Vyner Street, is undergoing treatment after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2018 which has left him unable to work.

His friends Jack March and Lynne Campbell-Wilcock, who have called themselves Team Mike, have set out to raise money for Mike and his family. They have launched a GoFundMe page, and are also holding a raffle and an auction, with some great prizes up for grabs.

The highest bidder of the auction will receive a visit from Michelin-starred chef Michael O'Hare, who will cook a full menu for them and five other people at a home in Yorkshire, when Covid-19 guidance allows this.

A number of York businesses have donated prizes for the raffle, including a one night stay with afternoon tea and breakfast at the Mount Royale Hotel, and a sleep set from The Little Yorkshire Candle Company.

"A big thank you to all York businesses involved in the raffle," Jack said.

He added: "I think when a friend is going through something like that there's only so much you can say and do but you can't change the situation. But this is something we could do to help them.

"Mike has been unable to work, the stress and pressure financially this has put on the family is unthinkable.

"On numerous occasions Mike has raised money for cancer charities and most recently raised awareness of the financial shortfall due to Covid-19.

"So we think its about time Team Mike did something for him and his incredible family."

Mike, who was head chef at The Ivy in York before his diagnosis, is dad to Teddy, 21, and Phoebe, 18.

He is currently receiving chemotherapy every two weeks.

Explaining how he came to be diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, Mike said: “I have a history of colitis so when I first started to feel unwell I thought it was just due to a flare up of that. I spoke to my colitis nurse and the GP suggested I change my diet to help. I also had two colonoscopies but they both came back clear and I was diagnosed with IBS.

“However, over a few weeks the pain got so severe that after my shift at The Ivy one night I took myself to A+E and I never left. I had a CT scan which showed there was a blockage in my bowel and was admitted for emergency surgery. The next day I was told I had cancer. I didn’t expect it to be me. I am a very healthy guy. I exercise and eat right. I don’t drink or do drugs, so it was such a shock. When the surgeon told me it was cancer I was blown away. Nothing prepares you for that.”

Speaking about the fundraising by his friends, Mike added: "I think it is amazing they have gone through and done it. It has taken a lot of time and effort. The people who have donated the prizes are amazing."

The GoFundMe page has already raised more than £1,000, while £825 has been made from the sale of raffle tickets.

To make a donation on the GoFundMe page, visit: