A local woman was inspired to launch a fundraising campaign by a close friend, who is a cancer survivor and carer, living with an inoperable tumour.
Lita Williams was touched by the situation of Oswestry man Geoffrey Moore who suffers from a rare thymic cancer, which first struck in 2000.
She explains: “Geoff is one of the hardest working guys I know. Most people will know him through his youth work or his martial arts. Even through his illness, Geoff carried on as long as he could, working two jobs. He’s inspirational, always giving to others and I just felt compelled to do something for him and raise money for a great cause at the same time.”
Lita, who works in Dorothy Perkins and B&M and husband Kev Williams have been friends with Geoff for 35 years and together are arranging a Halloween-inspired rock concert on 4 November at Morda Village Hall and Social Club to raise money for Lingen Davies Cancer Fund.
Geoff, a youth services manager in Powys cares for his partner Karen, who suffers with secondary progressive MS and is wheelchair bound. They share five daughters and eight grandchildren between them.
In 2004 Geoff underwent open heart surgery to remove a tumour from between his heart and lungs, and, against the odds made a full recovery allowing him to return to his two loves; youth work and combat sports.
“Geoff has been a professional youth worker on a variety of projects and national programmes as well as volunteering locally. He has been recognised by HRH and has twice been to Buckingham Palace to see Prince Phillip and Prince Charles,” says Lita.
Outside his job and family commitments, Geoff still finds time to indulge his other passion; combat sports. An ex-international player and current judo coach, Geoff holds black belts in judo, ju jitsu, ken jitsu (Japanese sword) and a first dan in kick boxing, training at Team Elite on Oak Street. Geoff also competes in grappling and amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) as well as sports ju jitsu events.
Last year Geoff’s cancer made an aggressive return, hospitalising the father of five. Emergency surgery followed but led to further complications including organ failure. Geoff’s weight plummeted, and he was subject to a number of emergency trips to hospital. After five months of intense chemotherapy, Geoff’s tumour has stabilised but is currently inoperable.
Undeterred, he is back at work doing what he loves; teaching and working towards his third dan in ju jitsu and sixth dan in judo, albeit a little slower than before, and battling fatigue and the side-effects of chemotherapy. Partner Karen remains a tower of strength offering support along with his daughters, friends and extended Judo family across the world. Geoff is eternally grateful to the Lingen Davies Centre and staff for their help, treatment and support.
Tickets are available for the event from organiser Lita Williams, call 07944 933337 or from Oswestry stores: Music Makers, Rowanthorn and Hartshorns