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Store's grand gesture in memory of Steffan Rees

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

Steffan Rees, 17 of Carway, who died earlier this year

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A GWENDRAETH Valley shop has donated £1,000 to a cancer charity in memory of a teenager who tragically lost his life earlier this year.

The Nisa Local store in Pontyates donated the funds to the Elli Group of the Teenage Cancer Trust, in memory of 17-year-old Steffan Rees, of Carway.

The teenager passed away in February , just hours after celebrating his 17th birthday.

The hugely popular youngster, described as an inspiration by family and friends, had been battling a very rare form of Sarcoma cancer, known as a desmoplastic small round cell tumour.

Steffan studied at Maes yr Yrfa Comprehensive School, and was a pupil at Carway school.

The donation was handed over by owner Simon Lewis to Gwyneth Thomas of the charity.

The store raised the funds through the sale of specific products in the store, with the help of charity Making A Difference Locally.

The independent registered charity was created in 2008 by Nisa, with the intention of helping more than 2,000 independent retailers raise money for their local community.

Ms Thomas, of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "On behalf of the trust and Steffan's family, I would like to thank both Simon Lewis of Nisa Local, Pontyates and the charity Making A Difference Locally for this generous and kind donation.

"It pays to shop locally, and it is good to see that a percentage of the money handed over the counter at your Nisa Local is donated back into the community."

Mr Lewis added that he was delighted to donate the money to the charity in memory of Steffan.

In the summer, 90 family and friends held a charity to walk to the summit of Snowdon in memory of Steffan, raising in excess of £10,000 for the charity.

Despite his prognosis, Steffan, a former rugby player for Kidwelly and Mynydd Mawr, lived every day to the full.

He had a keen interest in music and liked to play the electric guitar, and had one given to him from Make A Wish — a charity which gives presents to children with life- threatening illnesses.

After being diagnosed with the illness in Year 10, Steffan was limited to the number of times he could return to school, but still achieved three GCSEs through home tutoring with teacher Cath Owen.

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