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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 16:24 GMT
AM's message of life after cancer
Glyn Davies and Jonah Lomu
Glyn Davies receives some hands-on coaching from Jonah Lomu
An assembly member has teamed up with rugby legend Jonah Lomu to promote the message that you should not give up if diagnosed with a serious illness.

Glyn Davies, who had major surgery for rectal cancer in 2002, takes part in a veterans rugby game prior to Saturday's England-Wales Six Nations clash.

And he has been getting some tips from the Cardiff Blues wing, who had a kidney transplant in 2004.

Mr Davies, 60, said: "Cancer isn't a death sentence."

On Saturday, the Conservative AM for Mid and West Wales captains the London Welsh and Welsh assembly Veterans against a team of parliamentarians.

If I can go back out and play rugby again after 28 years, after having colon cancer, I just hope it makes a lot of people think 'I can make a full recovery and lead a full life'
Glyn Davies AM

What the scrum of MPs and lords might not know is that the Tory spokesman for rural affairs and finance in the Welsh assembly, has had a little unofficial coaching from the former All Black who once terrorised rival rugby teams.

Mr Davies had not stepped on a rugby pitch for almost 30 years when the pair met to pass on their message that people who recover from a serious illness can still lead a full and active life.

Glyn Davies AM
Glyn Davies, 61, had major surgery for colon cancer in 2002

"I'm reluctant to give away the secrets Jonah Lomu has passed on to me in case the opposition come up with a defence strategy," he said.

"But what I'm particularly keen to do is to say to people, if you have had a serious illness, it isn't actually the end of the road. It's very easy to collapse after being diagnosed with cancer, but you can make a 100% recovery.

"If I can go back out and play rugby again after 28 years, after having colon cancer, I just hope it makes a lot of people think 'I can make a full recovery and lead a full life'."

Jonah Lomu
Jonah Lomu said his strength was improving by the week

Lomu, 30, was forced to stop playing rugby in 2003 after being diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, an incurable disorder which affects 10,000 people in the UK each year.

Back on the pitch with the Cardiff side after his kidney transplant, he is now an ambassador for a charity, launched at Twickenham in 2005, funding research into the syndrome.

He said of Mr Davies: "It's a testament to what he's gone through and it's amazing that he's up there and he's doing it."

Lomu fitness

Of his own fight back to game fitness, he said: "The health's all good, the body's good and the mind's even better."

"Every day I'm feeling better and feeling stronger and that's growing each week. I've just got keep up that progress."

The London Welsh and Welsh assembly Veterans v Parliamentarians game kicks off at 1000 GMT on Saturday, near Twickenham.




SEE ALSO:
Rugby legend helping new charity
24 May 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire


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