A MARIE Curie nurse who achieved the coveted status of Woman of the Year in Slimming World will take on a trek in Vietnam for charity.

Lisa Richards, 58, of Rhuddlan, is hoping to raise £3,500 for Marie Curie, who provide care and support for people living with terminal illness and their families.

Lisa, a senior palliative healthcare for Marie Curie who works across Conwy and Denbighshire, has worked with the charitable organisation for 14 years.

In March 2013, Lisa, who has husband Phillip, weighed 21 stone and nine pounds and was in the diabetes type two range. She was unable to walk anywhere far, battled with aches and pains and was told by her GP she "morbidly obese".

The diagnosis shocked Lisa and she courageously started her journey to lose weight. Since joining St Asaph Slimming World in March 2018 and being crowned Woman of the Year - also last year - she has lost more than five stone. She intends to lose a further four stone this year to help her achieve peak fitness for the challenge.

Lisa, a mum of four children and grandmother to four, said: "This is going to be the challenge of my life.

Rhyl Journal:

Lisa Richards training near her home in Abergele. Picture: Geoff Abbott, GA250319C

"Since last year, I have lost an enormous amount of weight. I decided to lose the weight as I wanted to live long enough to be with the grandkids and be with my family.

"I lost the weight first then in February, when I was speaking to a colleague, I decided to sign up for the Vietnam trek [the trek will take in forests and jungles and Rice fields] to keep the focus on losing weight, but also to raise money and profile towards helping keeping nurses in the community. A lot of people don't realise that we are funded 30 per cent through the NHS, the rest is fundraising. The trek will make a difference.

Rhyl Journal:

Before Lisa's weight loss

"The challenge will involve walking up to seven to nine hours per day.

"I've been training and doing a lot of walking. I didn't even use to walk a mile, I now walk 10 miles.

"I have been training on different terrains - Bodnant Garden is brilliant as it has a lot of ups and downs."

Lisa, who is doing the trek with her colleague Lisa Overington, a Marie Curie nurse for Flintshire and Wrexham areas, is being supported by her husband.

"I couldn't do this without him," Lisa added.

Rhyl Journal:

Lisa has shed an amazing five-and-half stone

"I want to inspire others about the benefits of walking. I feel 20 years younger. You do have to be careful and be mindful.

"I want to be able to do the likes of Moel Famau and Pyg Track, Snowdon."

Lisa is so excited about the trek that her bags are "already packed".

"We will meet the others at London Heathrow when we fly," she said.

"We are also part out of hours rapid response teams working from 10pm to 7am."

As part of her fundraising, Lisa is hosting a summer ball at Rhuddlan Rugby Club. A Marie Curie pop up shop will be open from Friday, April 5 at HTM Industrial Park, Rhuddlan. This will run for about four weeks.

To donate to Lisa, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lisa-richards-vietnam-trek-for-marie-curie-2019

To buy tickets for the summer ball on July 6, email Lisa on prrichfam2@aol.com