Life Sciences Hub Wales

In September 2022, Craig Maxwell was diagnosed with incurable (stage 4) genetic lung cancer. Undeterred by the diagnosis, Craig embarked on a series of fundraising challenges that not only surpassed the initial target of £300,000, raising a total of £1,300,000 to support the Velindre Cancer Charity and the QuicDNA (cancer genomics) project

QuicDNA fundraising

QuicDNA aims to revolutionise lung cancer diagnosis and treatment using a simple blood test for genomic analysis. The liquid biopsy seeks to speed up treatment decision-making by providing early genomic information so that treatment can be initiated earlier.  

Lung cancer is a significant health challenge in Wales, with most patients diagnosed at an advanced stage. The project involves 1,200 suspected lung cancer patients across multiple health boards in Wales. 

Over the past 18 months Craig (family, friends and fundraisers) have tackled a series of physically demanding challenges including:  

  • The Welsh 3000s Challenge – Craig embarked on a gruelling adventure which involved climbing 15 mountains, each exceeding 3,000 feet, within a demanding 24 hours.  
  • Cycling Challenges – including Cardiff to Paris: a 320-mile ride from Cardiff to the French capital, Paris to Bordeaux: a 420-mile ride from Paris to Bordeaux, and Carten: a 100-mile cycle from Cardiff to Tenby.  

Craig’s latest completed challenge has been the Wales Coastal Walk, along the stunning Welsh coastline, spanning an impressive 780 miles.  

Cancer has touched everyone’s lives at some point or another, testing our strength. Yet, it will not define our future. This event saw people from all over Wales coming together, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective standing against cancer.  

The 26-day challenge mirrors the QuicDNA project’s goal: to reduce lung cancer diagnosis time to a maximum of 26 days; with the 780 miles symbolising the 78 days it took Craig to receive his own cancer diagnosis. The route, covering the Wales Coast Path winds through rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque villages.  

Craig hasn’t been alone on this journey. Welsh celebrities have joined him, including Gethin Jones, Shane Williams, Liam Reardon, Wynne Evans, Derek Brockway, and many more. 

Magda Meissner, Clinical Liquid Biopsy Lead at AWMGS, said: 

“I was honoured to walk 20 miles alongside Craig Maxwell in the Wales Coast Path Cancer Challenge on Saturday 9th March, contributing to the fundraising efforts for the Maxwell Foundation. Craig is truly amazing and serves as a genuine inspiration for all of us. I am deeply grateful to Craig for allowing me to be part of this journey.”

Wales Coastal Walk Fundraiser

A ruby match ball has relayed the entire distance, which concluded at the Principality Stadium, during the Guinness Six Nations clash between Wales and France on March 10 2024. The conclusion of the challenge saw Craig and his children Isla and Zach, carry the match ball on to the pitch. The monumental challenge symbolises hope, resilience and unity in the battle against cancer.  

For further details on the challenge see here.

To keep updated on funds raised, and to find out how to contribute, visit: