Six Nations chief's fundraiser for cancer treatment closes in on £1M

Six Nations chief Craig Maxwell’s fundraiser for treatment closes in on £1MILLION raised – as he smashes his initial £300,000 target after being diagnosed with terminal stage four cancer last year

  • Craig Maxwell was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer in September last year
  • The 41-year-old has smashed his fundrasing target of £300,000 and nears £1m 
  • To donate to Craig Maxwell’s funding for The QuicDNA Project and Velindre Cancer Centre, visit: 

Six Nations and former Welsh Rugby Union commercial chief Craig Maxwell’s astonishing fundraising for cancer treatment is now close to the £1million mark.

Last September, Maxwell was diagnosed with terminal stage four lung and bone cancer but refused to give in and took on a series of heroic fitness challenges to support those suffering with the disease.

Maxwell’s fundraising for the QuicDNA Project – which is being run with the support of Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff – aims to speed up the time it takes for lung cancer patients to be diagnosed in Wales.

After initially setting a fundraising target of £300,000, Maxwell has smashed through that barrier to reach £420,000 as things stand and an incredible donation of £500,000 means he is approaching £1m.

‘As part of my fundraising challenges, I’ve spent time with Diane Engelhardt who founded the Moondance Foundation with her husband Henry,’ Maxwell said.‘

Last September, Maxwell was diagnosed with terminal stage four lung and bone cancer but refused to give in

Maxwell and ’35 of his mates’ posed for a photo before setting off on a charity bike ride in July

The 41-year-old, who was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer last September, reached the French capital alongside after raising close to £350,000

As part of Velindre’s fundraising efforts, we cycled from Paris to Bordeaux together for Wales’ first World Cup match with Fiji. Diane and Moondance wanted to support my campaign.

‘They recognised the ambition I have to create a legacy for my family by implementing a long-term charity programme to support the fight against cancer in Wales. Moondance Foundation are already leading the way in this area, in part through the creation of Moondance Cancer Initiative.

‘It is truly amazing that Moondance have offered to be the founding donator of £500,000. It will enable us to create what we plan to call “The Maxwell Genomics Fund” which will aim to raise vital funds to support the research and development of Genomics cancer testing in Wales.‘

It took 72 days from me first going to hospital to be told I had terminal cancer and I want to help ensure others don’t have to wait as long. We want the fund to have a long-term impact.‘

The donation from the Moondance Foundation will allow us to launch the fund and once we have hit the £500,000 fundraising mark for QuicDNA – which the Moondance Cancer initiative was a contributing partner to – we will turn our attention to the new programme.‘

My wife Tracey will be involved, helping to identify and award future funding to genomics projects in Wales with support from Velindre, Moondance and Genomics Wales.‘

The ambition is for our children Isla and Zach to get involved once they turn 18, keeping my legacy and name alive and also bringing my family and friends together for a cause that means so much to me. My hope is my premature time will leave a longer legacy.‘

Maxwell’s fundraising efforts have now taken the total raised to close to the £1m mark 

After receiving my diagnosis it was my dream I could continue to help other families long after I’m gone. I wanted to show my children that even when you receive the worst possible news, it’s important not to give up and fight.‘

Hopefully, my children will see this is a positive influence in the years to come. I’m so thankful to Diane and everyone who has supported my fundraising, but we don’t intend to stop now.’

In 2023 so far, Maxwell has already ran the London Marathon and completed bike rides from Cardiff to Tenby, Cardiff to Paris, and from Paris to Bordeaux.

His ongoing treatments meant he was unable to take part in the IRONMAN in his hometown of Tenby and a mountain trek in Morocco. But that doesn’t mean he will be stopped.

Diane Engelhardt, founder and chairperson of the Moondance Foundation said: ‘Craig’s resilience in the face of this disease is inspirational.‘ His commitment to leave this world a better place for others is the epitome of generosity.’

Consultant oncologist at Velindre and national clinical director of cancer for Wales Professor Tom Crosby said: ‘The money raised and the challenges undertaken have been inspirational.‘

This will make a huge difference to improving faster diagnosis and treatment and ultimately improving cancer patient outcomes in Wales.’ Maxwell added: ‘Apparently lung cancer and altitude at the top of a mountain in Morocco don’t mix!

As well as his bike ride, Craig Maxwell also completed the London Marathon earlier this year

Maxwell said he intends to complete a triathlon ‘in more friendly conditions’ in December

‘I’m still planning on doing a triathlon in more friendly conditions in December and this Friday, I’ll be joined by 25 friends as we take on the hardest hiking challenge in Wales, the Welsh 3000s.‘

We will be looking to scale all of the country’s 15 biggest peaks in 24 hours. All the peaks are over 3,000 feet. It’s a total of 36 miles and 4,000 metres in climbing.

‘We’re starting at 10pm on Friday night and aim to finish at 10pm on Saturday and in between we’ll try and get some mobile signal to watch Wales’ quarter-final with Argentina as well!’

Welsh rugby legend Jonathan Davies, who is president of Velindre fundraising, said: ‘Having cycled with Craig and listened to him speaking with fundraisers in Wales, I have seen at first-hand how he is able to motivate people, public and professionals to go the extra mile and deliver the best possible cancer support and treatments. 

I will do everything I can to ensure the money Craig raises goes to improve patient outcomes and experience of cancer care in Wales.’

To support Craig Maxwell’s fundraising campaign go to

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