THE life of a trailblazing Wrexham woman who helped thousands of wounded veterans in the US is to be celebrated.
Sarah Williams Volf, originally from Rhosrobin but living in Aspen, Colorado, died suddenly on April 6 this year.
She was 42 and leaves behind husband Mark, son Samuel, eight, and parents Margaret and Geoff Williams, who live in Maes Alyn, Rhosrobin.
Proudly Welsh, Sarah was a former pupil of Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Gwersyllt, Yale College, graduating from the University of Staffordshire with a degree in sports science and then working for Wirral Metropolitan Council in sports development.
She was heavily involved in volunteering with Operation Christmas Child which was started by near neighbour Dave Cooke.
Sarah travelled to countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Belarus to coach football to children with coaches from Liverpool FC.
After moving to Colorado in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 Twin Towers attack, Sarah became renowned for her work to help America’s wounded veterans through adaptive disability sport with Challenge Aspen Military Operations (CAMO), which she founded in 2004.
Through CAMO she pioneered rehabilitation work which enabled severely injured servicemen and women to take part in a range of physical activities, from challenging raft trips in the Grand Canyon, to skiing and climbing in the Rockies.
Later her work extended to helping people from even further afield on an international scale with BLESMA, the military charity for limbless veterans in Britain.
Now a celebration of her life is to take place for family, friends and all who knew her in North Wales and the North West.
Sarah’s mother, Margaret Williams said: “What she did in those 42 years, I challenge anyone else to do in their lifetime. She could open any door to help people and did.
“Someone said to us that she was an ordinary girl from Wrexham doing extraordinary things, and that is so true.”
A memorial for Sarah was held at Aspen Chapel in May, which was packed to the rafters with family, friends, people and former servicemen and women she had helped throughout the years.
The service to celebrate Sarah’s life in Wrexham will take place on Friday, July 21 at St Martin’s Church, Llay, at 12 noon.