Community Strength in the Face of Adversity: Welsh Paramedic’s Courageous Fight Against Skin Cancer Inspires Unity and Support

Community Strength in the Face of Adversity: Welsh Paramedic’s Courageous Fight Against Skin Cancer Inspires Unity and Support

Meet Ian Jones, a dedicated paramedic of the Welsh Ambulance Service, who has recently been diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer. His journey is not only a personal one but also a call to action for others to be vigilant about recognising signs and symptoms. As Ian’s colleague and dear friend, Andrew Jones, takes on a fundraising mission, the community stands shoulder to shoulder, demonstrating the power of unity and support.

Aged 53, Ian, a proud father of three, is based in Hawthorn. It was during a self-examination that he noticed a small mole on his back undergoing changes. This prompted him to take swift action and undergo a series of medical examinations, scans, and surgeries over the past year. Tragically, the cancer had metastasized to multiple sites within his brain. However, Ian’s determination and resilience shine through, inspiring those around him to stay vigilant and proactive when it comes to their health.

Reflecting on the early stages of his journey, Ian shares, “It all started last year when I noticed the mole on my back was growing. It then started to get very dry, became itchy, and started to bleed.” These alarming developments spurred him to seek medical assistance. His doctor referred him to a dermatologist at Prince Charles Hospital, where a surgical procedure was performed to remove the concerning mole. Yet, Ian’s path was far from straightforward. Further tests revealed a diagnosis of type two melanoma, followed by the discovery of cancer in his groin. Despite the challenges, Ian’s resilience remains unwavering.

Ian’s incredible journey has not gone unnoticed by his colleagues at the Welsh Ambulance Service. Andrew Jones, a fellow paramedic and close friend of Ian’s, has taken on an awe-inspiring mission to raise funds for Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, where Ian is undergoing treatment. Andrew, a 51-year-old Ambulance Care Assistant also based in Hawthorn, is embarking on a remarkable 160-mile trek. The journey will begin in Liverpool – Ian’s birthplace – and culminate at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.

Recalling their shared experiences, Andrew fondly remembers, “Me and Ian started on the same day, on the same course and were partners on the road for a couple of months before we went off in different directions. Some weeks, I would spend more time with him than my wife.” News of Ian’s diagnosis ignited a spark within Andrew, compelling him to take on this challenging trek for a cause dear to their hearts. He adds, “Lots of people have already donated, which is amazing, and I’m hoping some more staff and friends will join me on certain sections of the walk, especially the last stretch from Merthyr, where my wife and two boys, and Ian and his family are hoping to join in.”

Andrew’s journey won’t be solitary. Emergency Medical Technician Penny King will be alongside, providing a campervan for Andrew’s rest and respite during the trek. This remarkable show of camaraderie underscores the compassion and unity that define the Aberdare and Cynon Valley community.

Mike Howells, Duty Operational Manager at Hawthorn Station, echoes the community’s sentiments, saying, “After giving multiple years of service to the Trust, it was very sad to see Ian step down from active duty. However, it’s great to see staff like Andrew supporting their colleagues as it shows how compassionate and caring our staff are. We are wishing Andrew the best of luck and Ian a swift recovery and hope he is able to come back to work soon.”

As Ian faces his battle with unyielding resolve and Andrew takes every step to support him, the Aberdare and Cynon Valley community shines as a beacon of support and empathy. To contribute to Andrew’s efforts in raising funds for Velindre Cancer Centre, visit his JustGiving page and become a part of this inspiring journey of hope and resilience.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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