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Cancer survivors hit catwalk to raise £6,000
A GLITZY fashion show took an emotional turn as brave cancer survivors sashayed down the catwalk to help raise £6,000 for Bury Cancer Support Centre.
Six women who turned to the centre while battling the disease modelled glamourous designer frocks at a fundraising ‘ladies lunch’ attended by 220 people.
Last Friday saw Theresa Buckley, from Bury, Elaine Donaldson and Susie Cookson from Tottington, Tina Sawney from Whitefield and Rochdale residents Ruth Howarth and Jill Winder strut their stuff at the Village Hotel in Bury.
With the show organised by Pat Haslam, manager of Ramsbottom designer resale boutique The Dressing Room, the lunch smashed a £5,000 overall target.
Mum-of-two Theresa, of Walmersley Road, was first to take to the catwalk after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
She said: “It was nerve-wracking but once we heard the fantastic reaction of the crowd we had some fun with it.
“It was hard work preparing but I did not want the day to end.
“People still do not know that Bury Cancer Support Centre receives no government funding despite GPs recommending it so we are doing all we can to raise awareness of this.”
Last month the models all wore genuine 1920s costumes loaned by the Royal Exchange in Manchester to take part in a photoshoot at the city’s Palace Hotel.
Fellow model Elaine, of Tottington Road, has just finished treatment for ovarian cancer and made the courageous decision to not wear her wig for her final parade down the catwalk.
She said: “People were breaking down and saying I was so brave but I did not even think about it until afterwards.
“I have still been having treatment and the week before the show, my feet were causing me a lot of pain but when it came down to it I didn’t even notice it — I was on such a high.”
Bury Cancer Support Centre is one of the nominated charities for the year of Bury Mayor, Cllr Sharon Briggs’ In a speech to attendees she paid tribute to the “lifeline” the self-funded centre provides for patients and their families and carers.
She also discussed her personal experience of caring for her husband Barry, himself a former mayor of Bury, who died of cancer in September, 2011.
Cllr Briggs said: “Cancer does not discriminate.
“It affects people rich and poor and leaves devastated lives and families.
“As a carer you feel it is your duty to cope and I felt I was being weak if I asked for support but I regret being proud.
“Bury Cancer Support Centre give people the strength and comfort to carry on with their journeys and long may it grow and continue.”
Jan Katana, manager of Bury Cancer Support Centre, said: “These amazing ladies will have struggled and battled with cancer and I feel a little bit like a proud mum.
“Events like this raise the spirits of patients, family and everyone involved in the centre's tireless fundraising and it has been absolutely spectacular.”
Tottington ward Cllr Yvonne Wright is a trustee fundraiser for the centre and helped organise the “amazingly successful” lunch.
She added: “We have raised £6,000 and lifted the charity’s profile with the people of Bury and beyond.
“For our models – the ladies who have all experienced cancer – this has been such a memorable experience and has helped them regain their confidence.”
The next event in aid of Bury Cancer Support Centre, a Valentine’s Ball, will be held on February 8 and there have already been 130 inquiries for tickets.
For more information: call Jan Katana on 07899 990260, Yvonne Wright on 01706 823536, Theresa Buckley on 0161 7636321 or Linda Bell on 01706 827392.
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