Brave young mum Jemma puts best foot forward in aid of cancer hospital

A young mum from Gwynedd who bravely battled a rare cancer has thanked the hospital that treated her by raising thousands of pounds in a sponsored walk.

Family and friends joined Jemma Jones in the four-mile walk in aid of the specialist Christie Hospital in Manchester, the largest single site cancer centre in Europe.

After the cancerous Sarcoma was diagnosed early last year, mother-of-two Jemma underwent months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and an operation to remove the tumour

Among those who took part in the walk on the Lon Las Peris cycle path alongside Llyn Padarn was her mum Karen who works as a catering assistant at Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care  home in Caernarfon.

Many of Karen’s colleagues have chipped in, including her boss, catering manager Richard Thompson, who donated the £50 he was given for his 44th birthday – and a lot more besides.

Richard said: “It’s been a very hard time for Karen’s who’s been updating me all through the process . She’s a fantastic member of staff and it’s been a very hard time for her.

“I looked on Jemma’s Just Giving page and the fund had reached nearly £1,000 so I donated £50 and then my colleagues gave me £50 for my birthday so I gave that as well.

“When I checked again, the total was nearly £2,000 so I gave another £60 to get it over the line.”

“If I don’t go out for a week or so, so be it because in the grand scheme of things that’s nothing. Karen could have lost her daughter so it was a small price to pay.

“I did it because I know that Karen’s family means everything to her. She does a lot for her daughters and looks after her grandkids.

“We’ve both worked at Bryn Seiont Newydd since it opened in 2015 and we work very closely. She’s wonderful and always goes above and beyond the call of duty – you don’t come across people like that very often. She’s got a heart of gold.”

According to Karen, she was hugely grateful to Richard for his generosity and to everybody else who had contributed.

She said: “Jemma’s illness caused real worry to the family but she has battled the cancer bravely and beaten it.

“Hopefully she will continue to get the all-clear and the walk raises awareness of sarcoma so that people get any unusual lumps or pains checked out.”

In addition to the money raised Jemma wanted to raise awareness of the disease and for anyone with unusual symptoms to contact their doctor as soon as possible.

The 35-year-old, who lives with husband Mike in Carmel near Caernarfon, said she noticed a lump on her arm and initially thought nothing of but she went to the doctor after it started growing.

She said: “I was diagnosed with Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer on the first of February last year. I was instantly and efficiently transferred to the care of The Christie Hospital in Manchester.”

Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that grows in connective tissue like the bones, nerves, muscles and blood vessels of arms and legs. It can cause lumps, bone pain, and weight loss and can be dangerous or life threatening if untreated. Urgent medical attention is usually recommended by doctors.

Soft tissue sarcomas are usually treated using surgery and radiotherapy but patients may also be offered chemotherapy and targeted medicines.

Jemma, who is mum to seven-year-old Jac and three-year-old Leia, spent several months at the Christie Hospital being treated and “rang the bell” in the company of her children in a short but emotional ceremony last August.

She added: “It was the most upsetting, stressful, and hardest year I have faced but I got through it all thanks to the amazing staff at the Christie Hospital.

“They truly are an amazing group of professionals who go above and beyond to help. They make you feel like you’re not just a number and genuinely care. Nothing is ever too much of an ask. The staff were the little family I needed being so far away from my own.

“Thankfully I am on the other side and building myself up again!”

Jemma, who works for website developer Delwedd in Caernarfon, said: “I hoped to raise some money to give a little thank you back. I set a target of £500 and was very happy to find that target being passed quite quickly and then the total climbed beyond £2,000.

“I will be forever grateful to the staff at The Christie Hospital and its fantastic staff,” she said.

Bryn Seiont Newydd’s manager Sandra Evans added: “We were really worried when Karen told us Jemma had been diagnosed with cancer and know how difficult the treatment process can be.

“It was a great relief when Karen said Jemma had been given the all-clear after months of treatment and is on the road to a full recovery.

“We are very happy to support her in her fund-raising, not least Richard who thinks the world of Karen.

“Not only is he a brilliant catering manager, he is also a fantastic human being.”

Anyone who would like to support Jemma’s fund-raising can do so online at

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