Charity champ Mel Davies nominated for Evening Post Pride Awards
SHE was paralysed at 15 and suffered breast cancer twice.
But inspirational 48-year-old Mel Davies hasn't let those set backs stop her from wanting to help others.
Mel, who lives in Gellinudd near Pontardawe with her husband Mike is the driving force behind Treat Trust Wales, the charity which aims to create an £18 million rehabilitation centre at Morriston Hospital.
"I was 15 when I broke my back in a motorbike accident in 1980," Mel said.
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"I was with my boyfriend and we were coming back from a bike day. We went round a corner at 80mph, the bike went one way and I smashed my back into a wall.
"I went from being a swaggering teenager to being paralysed from the waist down. I spent five months at a rehabilitation unit in Cardiff, I was in bed for two months. It was dreadful there. The rehabilitation service is non-existent."
In 2000 Mel would be diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time, an illness which would act as inspiration for her to start the charity which aims to provide first class rehabilitation care for South West Wales and further afield.
"When I was in hospital I thought wouldn't it be better if the physio could come onto the ward and get us to go somewhere nicer, away from the hospital beds," she said.
"We have been given a plot of land next to Morriston Hospital, we are starting to fundraise in earnest now, the facility is going to be about £18 million.
"There will be a ramped swimming pool, a gym, a music and dance studio and sports hall for the likes of Paralympians too."
Due to her outstanding commitment and dedication to Treat Trust Wales, Mel has been nominated in the charity champion category for the Evening Post's Pride Awards.
Taking place at the Brangwyn Hall on Thursday, March 7, the awards evening — one of the most important in the Post's calendar — aims to recognise those in our communities who make a real difference.
A shortlist will be drawn up later this month.
"It is lovely to be nominated for the awards," Mel said.
"When my husband said he was going to nominate me, I wanted it to be for the charity."