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Waunarlwydd cancer survivor continues fight – this time in the boxing ring for charity match

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A Waunarlwydd cancer survivor who lost both a childhood friend and his father to the disease is raising money by taking part in a charity boxing match.

Nurse practitioner Lee Morris, 42, is no stranger to raising funds for good causes.

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A keen long distance runner he has already run across the Great Wall of China, the Amazon Jungle and up the Swiss Alps to raise money for cancer charities.

Now he is ready to give boxing a go.

Lee was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 25, but he recovered following surgery and got back into fitness.

He went on to raise £19,000 for Bone Cancer Research Trust and £9,000 for a combination of prostate, bladder, testicular, breast and cancer research, along with for children with leukaemia.

However, his pal Rhodri Jones, who he played rugby with, wasn’t so lucky.

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Rhodri was just 19, in his second year at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying sociology, when he thought he had a sports injury but was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – bone cancer.

He died a year later, in 2006, after extensive treatment, and over a thousand people turned up to his funeral, including Welsh rugby stars like his personal hero Sir Gareth Edwards, CBE.

Lee also lost his father, Vernon Morris, 70, last year to bladder cancer which was a shock to the family as he was so ‘fit and healthy.’

Lee Morris with his father Vernon (Image: UWCB/Ultra White Collar Boxing)

Lee has now signed up for the Ultra White Collar Boxing event in Swansea to raise money for Cancer Research UK, using the ring name ‘Lee the Windmill Morris.’

Ultra White Collar Boxing gives participants like Lee the opportunity to take part in eight weeks of free professional boxing training, before a showcase event in front of hundreds of spectators.

Those taking part are asked to sell tickets for the show and raise at least £50 for Cancer Research UK.

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So far, Ultra Events – the company behind the event – has raised a staggering £25 million for Cancer Research UK.

Lee Morris in training ahead of the Ultra White Collar Boxing event in Swansea (Image: UWCB/Ultra White Collar Boxing)

Lee said: “Rhodri’s parents and circle of close friends set up the Rhodri Memorial Fund. Since then, I’ve been running and raising money for them.

“Hopefully we’ve helped someone. I have always been a keen runner since school, but it wasn’t until I had cancer myself that I got a bit obsessed with running, and over the years it’s just snowballed.

“It was a close community growing up, so it was really difficult.

“I remember before Rhodri got his diagnosis, we were playing rugby and he was in a lot of pain and discomfort but just put it down to a sports injury. A year later he sadly passed away.”

Lee, who has a 19-month daughter, Thea, with his partner of six years, Natalie Meredith, said the death of his father ‘really hit the family hard’ because he was so healthy.

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Lee admits that when he steps into the ring at the Swansea.com Stadium on November 19 it will be a change from his usual fundraising activities.

He added: “It’s really out of my comfort zone. I did take part in another boxing event about four years ago, and I really enjoyed the experience.

“Anything to raise money for a great cause. This will be my last boxing event. Before I get old, I want to experience it once more.

“I’m looking forward to the buzz and the great atmosphere on the night.”

Training for the next Ultra White Collar Boxing event in Swansea starts in February next year.

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Anyone thinking of signing up can visit ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk.

Lead image: Lee Morris will be competing in the Ultra White Collar Boxing event in Swansea (Image: UWCB/Ultra White Collar Boxing)

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