By Meyrick Brown

A MASSIVE £37,000 has been raised by the Pembrokeshire federation of YFCs to help sufferers of lung cancer.

The Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at Withybush Hospital will benefit form the money after being nominated by the federation chairman as her chosen charity cause.

Alice James of Gelliolau, Clynderwen, who was president for 2016-17, was prompted by the serious illness of her sister-in-law, Nia.

Nia, who is married to Daniel with two daughters of primary school age, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in July 2017.

She has been receiving ground breaking therapy at Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest – the first patient in Pembrokeshire to receive a drug recently approved by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Aged 37, and a non- smoker, Nia is employed as a procurement officer with Dunbia at their Llanybydder operation and had herself been training for the Moonwalk in Edinburgh, to raise money for Breast Cancer Research, when she became suddenly unwell.

Initially blood tests and scans failed to detect the cancer – thought at first to possibly be TB – but the second biopsy confirmed lung cancer. The completely unexpected diagnosis was devastating for the young family.

Last year, after being very busy in her YFC capacity at the Royal Welsh Show, Alice, 29, – herself a National Health Service employee – got to work on her charity task and with the full co-operation of Richard and Dawn Lewis and their daughters Daisy, Heather, Josie and Poppy, all fellow members of Llawhaden YFC – she chose to organise an It’s A Knockout competition at Clerkenhill Leisure Park.

Spurred on by her brother, Daniel, boyfriend Llynday, and with support and encouragement from other club members, her immediate past county chairman, Richard Summons, and many members of other clubs, a whole programme was quickly drawn up.

Word got around – thanks mostly to social media – and within hours as many as 30 teams had entered, spontaneous offers of raffle prizes (mostly from generous tradespeople in Narberth, YFCs, members and friends from all around) and amazing sponsorship poured in from the likes of Dunbia, Castell Howell, Red Kite, DJP, G Gamage and Clynderwen Farmers together with numerous anonymous donations.

The family and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event and Dai Thomas, of J E Lawrence, arrived with a water tanker, essential for some of the challenging games.

Crowds made their way from across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and there was a constant queue at the food tent serving pig roast burgers and other refreshments.

Evening entertainment was provided by Josie Lewis, the Eglwyswrw boys and Dan Morgan and friends and a silent auction, of many surplus items given as raffle prizes, including a pair of rugby boots owned by Justin Webb, swelled the funds by £10,000.

At the special request of friends who could not attend, including neighbours of Nia’s parents, Alun and Eirian Thomas of Llanllawddog, Carmarthen – a JustGiving page alone raised £4,735.