History of Prostate Cymru

Prostate Cymru started life in December 2003 as GLAZE – an acronym for GreenLight Laser, a minimally invasive treatment for BPH (benign prostate disease). The name of the charity was coined by its founder Chairman, the late Ray Murray.

Ray became friends with the consultant urologist surgeon Andy Thomas and together they came up with the idea of creating a Welsh prostate charity to ensure that Welsh men suffering with prostate diseases would have access to the best available treatments from the NHS in Wales. The aim was to create a level playing field, where Welsh men didn’t need to travel to England and pay the English NHS or the private sector for prostate therapies that should be available on the Welsh NHS.

The charity’s first project was to create a centre of excellence at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend for minimally invasive GreenLight laser surgery. This treatment eliminates the risk of bleeding in benign prostate surgery and allows for safe day case surgery and a quicker return to normal activities for patients. In 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended the treatment to the NHS in England and Wales.

With the agreement of the charity commission Glaze became Prostate Cymru in 2010 to encompass all prostate diseases including benign prostate disease and prostate cancer.

Following the Operation Robot campaign, representations and petitions from Prostate Cymru, the Welsh Government funded a Da Vinci robotic system for minimally invasive prostate cancer surgery. The robot was installed in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in 2014 and the charity has funded the training of surgeons using the equipment.

A national charity, Prostate Cymru is supported by fundraisers and volunteers across Wales. In 2014, the late Ray Williams OBE established the first regional group, the Pembrokeshire Friends of Prostate Cymru, to support the charity. Prostate Cymru hopes to set up ‘friendship’ groups across Wales using the successful model used in Pembrokeshire.

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