A SPECIAL celebration took place mark the official opening of Ysbyty Gwynedd’s cancer unit following a £1.2m makeover.

Staff and former patients including the Alarm’s Mike Peters and the wife of fundraiser and former nurse Irfon Willaims celebrated the official opening of the Alaw Unit.

Building work, funded exclusively through charitable support, began on the project began in 2016.

 Gwynedd Haematology and Cancer Relief Fund pledged £500,000 to support the build with the remainder coming from donations through the North Wales NHS Charity Awyr Las, the Alaw Fundraising Group, and other supporters of the unit.

The development has doubled the current number of consultations rooms on the unit and increased the Day Unit’s capacity by 40 per cent.

A new reception and separate waiting room have also been created for outpatients and a dedicated area is now set aside for stem cell patients.

Irfon Williams, who  despite losing his battle with cancer last month, was incredibly driven throughout his illness, setting up #teamirfon with Awyr Las, and raising over £150,000 to support patients on the unit,  was remembered during the ceremony.

His wife, Becky said: “Irfon faced his illness with courage and dignity, he was a gentle person and never complained and always used his situation to help others. 

“Irfon and I set up #teamirfon to create good times and to thank all those on the Alaw Unit who provide fantastic support during the bad times.”

Consultant Medical Oncologist, Cath Bale, said: “The re-development has provided us with a spacious waiting area, the day unit has been transformed, and we now have extra space for our nursing staff to do their upmost to look after our patients. And this is all thanks to the generous donations.”

Radio Wales’ Wynne Evans broadcast live from the opening, joined by several members of staff as well as school children from Ysgol Baladeulyn and Ysgol Hafod Lon.