Rugby boys join calendar girls
A GROUP of women have been rubbing shoulders with some of Wales's rugby stars in a cheeky calendar all in the name of raising thousands of pounds to fight breast cancer.
The calendar in aid of Prince Philip Hospital's breast cancer unit is being pulled together by a group of farmers wives, daughters and other women with agricultural connections from the Carmarthen area.
Organiser, Cheryl Thomas, 40, from Pontantwn raised more than £6,000 last year for the unit by holding a coffee morning on her farm Gelli Gatrog.
Cheryl said: "My mother Carwen Howells and my aunt Mai Thomas and a close friend of mine Andrea Bennett have all recently received treatment at the unit in Llanelli. They were all diagnosed within eight weeks of each other and I felt that I wanted to give something back for the excellent care that they all received there."
Speaking about the calendar idea she added: "A few of us girls were talking one evening and decided that we wanted to continue with the fundraising so we decided to go ahead and organise this calendar — but it is a calendar with a difference as it is also involving the rugby boys!
"We are all so grateful to them for their support and a calendar will cost £10, so we are having 1,000 printed to start but could do more."
The calendar has a country and rural theme to the photographs – with a few surprises thrown in said Cheryl.
British Lions Mike Phillips and Jonathan Davies, from Bancyfelin, and Welsh and Scarlets favourite Ken Owens, who lives in Nantgaredig, agreed to take part in the calendar.
Other rugby players who have bared all also include local boys James Davies, Aled Thomas and Daniel Thomas.
Most of the photographs have been taken by Carmarthen photographer Ann Lenny who has given her time for free. Mai Thomas, from Carmarthen and her sister Carwen Howells, of Maescowin Farm in Bancyfelin, were both diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
Mai, 67, was diagnosed after discovering a lump in her breast in March 2012 and underwent a double mastectomy the following month, along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
Carwen, who is 69, was told she had the early stages of breast cancer following a routine screening just four months after her sister was diagnosed and had surgery last year in July.
Andrea Bennett, 42, from Kidwelly, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and currently receiving treatment said: "I go to the unit in Llanelli and they do brilliant work and to keep fundraising is so important, which is why we did the calendar."
Cheryl said that the calendars have been printed and people can preorder their copy.
"I will be sending one to Mike Phillips to sign too for the launch night."
An official launch of the calendar will be held on October 8 at the Royal Ivy Bush Hotel in Carmarthen at
To preorder a calendar call Cheryl on 07779 78553 or Andrea on 01267 267022.