Cancer survivor Amanda O’Neill has taken on numerous charity challenges - but her latest is the most poignant yet.

The 39-year-old lost her dad, Stuart Wardell, last year.

He had been given the all clear from bowel cancer when he developed an infection after a routine hernia operation which was so severe it shut down his kidneys, caused multiple organ failure and a heart attack.

A few years before, Amanda had lost her mum Yvonne after a long battle with a rare form of brain cancer. While Yvonne was fighting the disease, Amanda learned she had breast cancer, and then her dad developed bowel cancer.

Amanda, of Flockton, said: “At one point all three of us were in Pinderfields Hospital, on different floors.”

She is making good progress after cancer treatment, and has taken on numerous charity challenges in recent years.

And the latest will see her enter the Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge, organised by the Rotary Clubs of Huddersfield and Wakefield Chantry, at Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield, on Saturday, July 9.

Stuart Wardell

Her dad was one of the main organisers of the annual event, and she has entered many times. But this year they will be competing for the Stuart Wardell Memorial Trophy, which Amanda will present to the winners.

Amanda, who has swum Lake Windermere, tackled the Three Peaks and done various other charity events, said: “My father and I had a very close relationship and losing him was devastating, but tears won’t bring him back. Instead we have the opportunity to take part in a very special event.

READ MORE: The Midnight Memory Walk 2016 in pictures as a record number of walkers turn out

READ MORE: Memorial football match held in tribute to Huddersfield Town fan Gavin Greig who died from cancer

“I was by his bedside as he passed away, in shock that someone who was just starting to plan his future free of cancer, could lose his life so suddenly.

“The most difficult conversation I have ever had to have was telling my dad I had cancer. I knew how hard he’d take it, especially as he’d experienced the pain and suffering cancer can cause whilst supporting my mother with her long battle against brain cancer.”

Amanda is married to James, and they have a young daughter, Myla.

Amanda O'Neill of Flockton with her daughter Myla

“We’ve been through some tough times over the past few years but we’ve tried to stay strong and rather than letting life get us down we’ve taken on numerous challenges to raise money for a variety of charities that are close to our heart.”

She was director of a recruitment company before setting up a business retailing beauty and grooming products free from artificial chemicals. Myon Pure is now a thriving mail order business selling natural and organic skincare brands.

The Dragon Boat event will see Amanda raising money for The Haven, a charity which supports people affected by breast cancer.

The race sees teams of rowers plus a drummer paddling boats across the lake, cheered on by hundreds of spectators. Over the last seven years it’s raised almost £200,000 for charity.