A NEWPORT woman is taking on a mountain of a fundraising challenge in memory of loved ones affected by cancer.

Julie Lewis, 47, will climb Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in September to raise vital funds for the Cardiff-based hospice Velindre. Her partner Stephen Kilby, 57, also hopes to join her on the five-day trek.

The pair, from Coedkernew, were inspired to raise much-needed funds for the charity after losing several family members to cancer.

Ms Lewis' grandfather Norman East, died 17 years ago aged 72 after a battle with lung cancer, while her two aunts Shirley Sage and Jan Platt also suffered with the disease.

Mr Kilby's parents Dennis and Sylvia Kilby also lost their lives to cancer and the pair, who have also supported friends through the disease, decided they wanted to do something to help the hospice, which cared for them.

The mum of two, who works in the control room at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "It's been brought to light because I am getting older and it's happening to friends now and thanks to places like Velindre more people are surviving.

"I have had a couple of friends who have had breast cancer and testicular cancer and they have come through it. But it's horrible and makes it seems more real when it happens close to you."

The pair need to raise £4,300 each to take part in the climb, a proportion of which will go to the charity.

To help them raise the money Ms Lewis is planning a variety of events including a car wash and a Valentines Ball at The Village Hotel in Cardiff on February 14.

The event from 7.30pm includes a three-course meal and disco. Tickets are £27 each. To book email jlewisjules@yahoo.co.uk