MORE than £12,000 has been raised for charity following the death of a 36-year-old from New Inn.

On September 28, Rhys Parker, 36, lost his fight against Lupus (SLE), a condition where the immune system attacks one's healthy cells, tissue and organs.

It is believed that over 50,000 people throughout the UK suffer with lupus, of which 90 per cent are female.

Since then, his widow Emma, family members and friends have been raising awareness of the condition and money for two lupus charities, Lupus UK and Hibbs Lupus Trust.

The amount raised currently stands at £12,301.46 and includes £6,730 from a bike ride on November 24 when a group of nine men cycled 166 miles from Snowdon to New Inn over three days.

Alun Taylor drove the support van and kept people at home up to date with video diaries that were posted on YouTube.

Mrs Parker said: “The bike ride was amazing and plenty of people turned up at the end to welcome the group back.”

Those who took part were in school with Mr Parker or met him in college, in university or knew him from New Inn.

Mrs Parker explained that next on the calendar, colleagues of Mrs Parker are wearing Christmas jumpers to work on December 6 in Torfaen Council.

And children are doing fundraising at New Inn Primary School organised by Mr Parker’s niece Lowri Hern and the headteacher, Kate Prendegast, who was in school with him. Next year, a group will take part in half and full marathons.

Previously speaking to The Free Press, Mrs Parker explained that Mr Parker had fought heart and kidney problems as a result of Lupus since diagnosis in 2000.

But he never complained and always found time to support others by offering advice to other sufferers online.

On September 20, Mrs Parker returned home to find her husband not breathing. She called for an ambulance and started doing CPR.

He had suffered a heart attack and ambulance crews managed to stabalise him, but he remained in a coma until he died.

To donate visit