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A Welsh hospital has received a large and beneficial donation from Hollywood legend Paul Newman.

The Breast Care Centre at Singleton Hospital in Swansea received $40,000 at the start of October from the Newman's Own Foundation, a charitable trust set up by the award winning actor 25 years ago. The star of Road To Perdition and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid founded Newman’s Own Food Company in 1982, producing a range of popular dressings and sauces, with all profits going to charity. The millions of dollars raised through the venture every year go to thousands of charities around the world.

The donation to the Breast Care Centre came about through his son-in-law, Gary Irving, who married Newman’s daughter, Nell, two years ago. Irving’s mother, Sue Proctor, has been getting treatment at the centre in Wales since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.

“Paul Newman gave Gary a present of $40,000 for his birthday this year, with the proviso he gave it to the charity of his choice,” said 62 year old Mrs Proctor. “Gary knew I had been having treatment at Singleton Hospital and that I was very pleased with the staff there, so he decided to donate the money to the Breast Care Centre. I’m chuffed that we’ve been able to give some money, and I want to give my thanks to the Centre and all the staff who work there.”

Newman and his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, visited Wales as part of their daughter’s wedding ceremony in 2005, and described it as “fantastic”.

“They’re a lovely couple,” said Mrs Proctor. “I went to their home in Westport, Connecticut, last year and had a wonderful time. They are very down-to-earth people with no airs and graces, despite their fame. As well as donating profits from Newman’s Own, Paul also has a series of Hole in the Wall Gang centres for terminally ill children around the world, and works hard making sure they are run well.”

Singleton Hospital is a district facility with room for 600 patients. As well as the Breast Care Centre, it is also well known for its Paediatric Department and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It provides health services for the entire South West Wales, which often stretches its resources to the limit.

“Not only is this a huge financial boost for our service, but a significant endorsement of the work of all our staff,” said Mike Chare, consultant surgeon at the Breast Care Centre. “Mrs Proctor is an extremely friendly and generous person, and we thank her very much for all her help in receiving this donation.”

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