Courageous cancer survivor Soraya Kelly is packing a punch with an inspirational Campaign that has attracted support from all around the world.
The mum of four started #theglovesareon in a bid to raise awareness of early detection and prompt treatment of the disease after beating breast cancer earlier this year.
The forty eight year old only realised she had Grade 3 cancer due to her 11 year old implants pushing out a lump. Scarily, this would have been completely missed, had she not had the cosmetic surgery some years earlier.
Soraya, who underwent a lumpectomy and weeks of gruelling daily radiotherapy, then launched the courageous campaign in a bid to highlight this issue calling out to others to come and stand alongside her in support.
After candidly sharing her story on social media, a whole host of celebrities, politicians, sports stars, companies, community groups, cancer survivors, and those who have been affected by the disease stepped up.
This includes global stars Gloria Hunniford, Thierry Henry, and Madness. Welsh celebrities Craig Bellamy, Joe Calzaghe and Joe Cordina. Sports teams Cardiff Blues, Barry Town Football Club, Cardiff City Football Club FiJi 7’s Rugby Team. Vale of Glamorgan Welsh Government AM Jane Hutt, UK Government MP Alun Cairns, charities TY Hafan, Light Up for Leslie. Companies Virgin Travel Media, St David’s Hotel, Virgin Travel. And well-respected fashion designer Nathan Palmer and the locally produced Style of the City Magazine
They have all supported Rhoose resident Soraya by taking part in photo shoots, social media promotions and many other publicity opportunities – as well as donating memorabilia for a fundraising evening on May 19th.
Many are also featured in the #theglovesareon campaign advert which was launched at the Charity Ball. The inclusive and diverse advert has been made by energetic University of South Wales (USW) students – with full support of the Caron Keating Foundation through the Hunniford family who are constantly in touch with Soraya.
Seventeen year-old Irish songwriter Eva Campbell has composed the powerful theme song. The film is also being promoted through a compelling rap song by young mental health advocate Francesca L Bourne. The rap has already been given airtime in Wales, UK, Australia, America, Hong Kong and Fiji.
The USW undergraduates, who are studying media production, have also produced a gritty documentary showing Soraya and her supporters journey from her initial idea right through to the success of the globally supported Campaign.
Soraya, who recently won a Regional Award for Citizenship, said: “My campaign approach has always been about inclusion of all. Cancer shows no prejudice and neither does #theglovesareon. I believe in a joined-up approach to raise awareness of early detection and treatment to achieve better outcomes for all.
I have been absolutely blown away and deeply humbled by all the support given, it is amazing. I am also incredibly proud that the advert has been driven by energetic and enthusiastic young people who have embraced the campaign from the start.
She added: “Thank you to absolutely everyone who has supported me – it is very much appreciated.”
#TheGlovesAreOn is a registered charity passionate about making a difference for our children and young people through education.
And is all about the courage to step back in the ring when life knocks you down, the strength to keep fighting through adversity, and the faith that you will make that crucial difference in our world.
It is led by Soraya Kelly, Chaired by Sue Vincent-Jones, and supported by Trustees Nick Kelly, John Harding and Kate Knight.
The Voice Of Our Community
FOR THE RECORD: Now #TGAO are petitioning the Parliament I work for, its time for me to swiftly step aside to focus on my more professional projects – and my ever urgent activism, of course.
I also completely denounce the Charity’s continued use of the #AllLivesMatter mantra – and the upset it has caused to our Black community and their Allies.
Feel free to join me as I continue write about the fight to make a real difference with Stand Up To Racism (Vale), LGBTQymru, An Anti-Racist Wales – the Race Equality Action Plan, and my other community activism work.
As always, I live to write another day, find my weekly opinion column in the Glamorgan Star – the Vale’s newest newspaper covering Barry and beyond. See my take on the latest news, in print fortnightly, or online here.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As a Trustee of #TheGlovesAreOn Sue promoted the work of the Charity, between February 2018 to March 2021 before leaving to pursue other professional projects. She was also both LGBTQ Lead, and Communications Advisor, for the collective.