A LLANRUG dad has been described as a “true inspiration” after overcoming life tragedies to help others.

Malcolm Pitts, 62, raises thousands of pounds for charity every year by taking part in sponsored swimming and cycling events, despite his own physical challenges.

The former quarry worker was seriously hurt in a road accident at Gwalchmai, Anglesey, back in 1982. The crash happened just nine months after his marriage to Yvonne.

Years later, he still copes with muscle spasticity, the effects of brain damage, as well as speech and memory difficulties.

After many years of having to relearn everything from walking and talking, and with the special care of Yvonne, family and friends, he gradually rebuilt his life.

In June, 2006, he would face a further tragedy, of losing his 'beloved' wife to cancer. By then, was she 47 and the couple had two children Mark and Fiona.

After Yvonne’s death, to thank friends, health care staff and the community for their support, Malcolm decided to try and raise funds for the Alaw Day Cancer Unit where Yvonne was treated.

Now in his 12th year of swimming and cycling challenges, he annually raises cash for the A&E unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Llanberis and Waunfawr surgeries, Eryri Hospital, Caernarfon, Gwynfa Residential Home, Bontnewydd and the Walton Centre in Liverpool, which saved his life after the accident, and where he was in a coma for three weeks.

This year, Malcolm swam ten times -1.5miles each time - at Plas Menai and Arfon Leisure Centre, totalling 15 miles, throughout May

His friend Darren Brame, a life guard at Plas Menai, has joined him on his sponsored bike rides. Alwena Leadbitter also cycled with him during the first two years.

This year, Malcolm and Darren cycled from Plas Menai to Conwy castle, then to Caernarfon castle then back to Plas Menai, a distance of 52 miles, in July.

Malcolm raised a total of £1791. The Alaw Day Cancer Unit will receive £1100 and the Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E, £691.

He said: “On behalf of Yvonne and myself and the Alaw Day Cancer Unit and the A&E department at Ysbyty Gwynedd, we’d like to thank everyone who donated and supported us again this year. Thank you very much!”

Darren Brame said: “This is all about Malcolm my friend, he is absolutely amazing, and a true inspiration to others.”