HAVING given cancer the knock-back after months of gruelling treatment, a fundraiser was determined nothing was going to stop him raising money for the charity that had helped him through his illness.

Paul Hayes, along with friends Huw and Ken Skates (MS) and Christian Malam, all members of Mold Golf Club, raised £3,900 for Bowel Cancer UK thanks to a 72-hole golf marathon played on one day in the most horrendous of conditions.

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Forty three-year-old Paul was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2022 and has successfully fought off the cancer, which had reached stage three, with surgery and chemotherapy. He wanted to raise money to support research in the fight against bowel cancer and also share his story to raise awareness and help others and their families who may find themselves in the same situation.

The intrepid foursome started their big day at 4.30am with two rounds at Mold, followed by two at Carden Park. To add to the challenge, the players had to deal with some of the worst rainfall of the year in the latter part of the day with the Cheshire course almost unplayable by the end. They refused to give up and finally finished at 9.30pm, soaking wet and tired but exhilarated.

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Paul said: "Someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes. That's 16 people in an average round of golf. My cancer was found by accident when I suffered pain from a kidney stone as I'd had no symptoms.

"I'm very fortunate as a person to be physically and mentally strong in my outlook and humour has played a big part in my cancer journey over the last 12 months or so.

"Unfortunately my family has a dark history with cancer, particularly bowel cancer, over many decades and I have witnessed some family members succumb to the disease at relatively young ages. Technology and knowledge have increased hugely and I'm sure if they had the same at their disposal as I have had, then they would still be with us today."

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Paul shared his very personal story on his JustGiving page as he and his friends set about raising funds with their original target of £2,000 very quickly smashed.

He added: "The care I received in hospital was unbelievable. The staff in Wrexham and Glan Clwyd were incredibly caring and compassionate and I want to thank the wonderful NHS nurses, specialists, surgeons and support teams, including the Shooting Stars staff, as without them I wouldn't be here.

"Following the treatment, waiting for scan results was the scariest thing so it was the biggest relief when I was told that the scan was good and the chemotherapy appeared to have done the job. There have been ups and downs and not so nice side effects but I'm still kicking, breathing and laughing and ever so grateful. This particular battle has seemingly been won but I will be ready for any further battles along the way if they arise."

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Bowel Cancer UK is the chosen charity of the Mold Golf Club captains this year, so Paul had no hesitation in getting behind their efforts with this fundraising of his own in support.

Captains Martin Penn and Elly Frankland said: "Paul is an inspiration and he, along with Huw, Ken and Christian have done brilliantly raising so much money for the charity. In typical fashion they never gave up, even when it really wasn't fit for ducks to be out never mind golfers! They played every last shot and we are so proud of them."

Paul added: "I want to thank everyone at Mold Golf Club for all the support given during our 72-hole golf challenge. To complete the challenge with close friends and be supported by so many kind people at the Club was very special and touching.

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"We surpassed our fundraising goal by some way and we raised a fantastic £3,890 plus gift aid. Truly wonderful. Each donation will help fund lifesaving research and provide expert advice and information to support the thousands of people across the UK affected by bowel cancer. The donations make a huge difference.

"There are probably half a dozen golf courses closer to home for me, but I chose to drive past these and return to Mold after some years away. The culture, people and warmth is exactly how I remember it. It's a huge strength of the club and one that brought me back."

Michael Locke, Bowel Cancer UK's Wales fundraising manager said: "The huge effort that Paul, Christian, Ken and Huw put in is incredible. Our aim is for a future in which nobody dies of bowel cancer and this fantastic amount of money will take us closer to that day. Thank you to everyone who supported them. Diolch yn fawr iawn. "

If you would like to support Paul's fundraising for Bowel Cancer UK, you can donate at his JustGiving page: https://tinyurl.com/yw3c43sr