She is helping show the world how to smile in adversity and Rowena Mingo has illuminated the rehearsal room as she prepares for Courage on the Catwalk this May.
The 31-year-old knows how to pose for the camera and walk with confidence through the routines, while she and 23 other ladies get ready for the charity event.
Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2015, Ms Mingo has had to deal with her illness, in addition to having Down’s Syndrome.
It was difficult for her to understand the changes to her physical appearance, but she now smiles at the tufts of hair growing back in.
Her father, Cliff Mingo, 66, has been with her throughout her trips to ARI and the intensive treatment given to her, including chemotherapy.
And the woman who loves wrestling and passionately follows the WWE, now takes medication every day as it will be two years before she receives the all-clear.
She and her father first heard about Friends of Anchor and their event, Courage on the Catwalk, when she spent time with the Anchor volunteers in Ward 112 at ARI.
She was able to receive some of the treatments offered in the unit to enhance patient wellbeing, which includes nail care, hair and wig styling and massage.
Mr Mingo said: “It was the first we had heard about Courage on the Catwalk, but we were too late to apply last year.
“Rowena is such a poser. It is the sort of thing she likes doing – she goes to a drama group and she used to dance.”
The charity event is an opportunity to celebrate the bravery and strength of all women who have faced the life-changing diagnosis of cancer.
And Ms Mingo is showing the world that illness and disability do not have to stop you from being positive and doing the things you love, while also raising funds for important medical research.
As her dad concluded: “We wanted to do something for Friends of Anchor.”
They both share that goal, which is why they are looking forward to next month’s event.
Friends of Anchor
Friends of Anchor provide funding for pilot research projects at Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University, in addition to a two-year fellowship research programme.
Patients throughout the north-east have access to clinical trials that have derived from Friends of Anchor research projects.
The organisation funds critical investment in three areas: non-NHS diagnostic and surgical equipment, patient wellbeing services and initiatives and local, ground-breaking cancer research projects led by top clinicians at Aberdeen University.
In terms of medical equipment, the group funded £277,378 for this purpose in 2016.
As for research, they backed more than 3,900 hours of funded cancer and haematology research, investing more than £125,000 last year.