A CANCER survivor and new mum is rallying people in Flintshire and Wrexham to help tackle the devastating loss of funding for cancer research, caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Tiffany Williams, of Mold, has vowed to help Cancer Research UK continue its mission as it launches an urgent new appeal for donations to help get life-saving work back on track.

Following the cancellation of fundraising events like Race for Life, the charity is expecting a staggering £160 million drop in income in the year ahead.

As a result, Cancer Research UK has had to make the difficult decision to cut £44 million in research funding, but this is likely to be just the beginning. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma aged just 18, Tiffany owes her life to advances in treatment.

She said: “My experience means I understand the importance of Cancer Research UK’s work all too clearly. I was absolutely devastated to be diagnosed with cancer at such a young age.

That’s why she’s helping to highlight the threat the funding gap poses to future breakthroughs for cancer patients in Wales and across the UK.

This is powerfully brought to life in a new TV appeal film. It shows a cancer patient on the verge of finding out whether her treatment has been successful, when the video pauses at the critical moment.

The Leader:

Tiffany Williams

The message is clear, says Tiffany – to save lives tomorrow, Cancer Research UK needs the public’s support today.

By sharing her story, Tiffany, who is now aged 24, hopes to inspire people to donate now.

Tiffany became well known for sharing her experiences while undergoing treatment on social media.

She was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Tiffany had developed lumps on her neck which she initially assumed were swollen glands and not a serious health issue.

She had four weeks of fertility treatment and her eggs frozen to ensure she could have children despite the gruelling effects of six months of chemotherapy treatment.

The Leader:

Tiffany with baby Nella Sofia

However, she fell pregnant naturally with her Italian partner Ettorino and gave birth to baby Nella Sofia almost three months ago during lockdown.

Tiffany now works as an operations executive for a large travel company following a degree in Tourism Management at the University of Chester. She was diagnosed with cancer just three months before starting her degree and juggled lectures with chemotherapy.

The Leader:

Tiffany started university while undergoing chemo

The Leader:

Tiffany's graduation day in Chester

Tiffany said: “It’s thanks to improved treatments that I’ve been given more precious time with my loved ones and been able to have my beautiful baby girl – so it upsets me to think about research being delayed and what this might mean for people affected by cancer in the months and years to come.

“By boosting funding now, we can all help to lessen the future impact on patients. So, I hope that people will be moved by the charity’s determination to carry on beating cancer and give what they can.

"They could make a real difference to people like me.”

Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has been at the heart of progress that has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.

The Leader:

Tiffany undergoing treatment

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity currently funds around 50 per cent of all publicly funded cancer research in the UK.

However, as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, promising projects which could have the big answers to cancer are being held up.

The Leader:

Tiffany with partner Ettorino

Cassandra Miles, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Wales, said: “We’re grateful to Tiffany for helping to underline the stark reality of the current situation.

“COVID-19 put so much of our research on pause, leaving us facing a crisis where every day and every pound counts.

“With around 19,500 people diagnosed with cancer each year in Wales, we will never stop striving to create better treatments. But we can’t do it alone.

“Whether they donate, sign up to Race for Life at Home or shop at our stores - with the help of people across Wales, we believe that together we will still beat cancer.”

Cancer Research UK was able to spend nearly £4 million in Wales last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

Donate now at cruk.org/give