A north-east charity is urging brave ladies who have battled cancer to grasp a last chance to sign up for a once-in-a-lifetime fashion show.
With just hours to go before the deadline closes for Courage on the Catwalk 2015, Friends of ANCHOR has issued a final warning for applications.
Three years ago the idea started off as nothing more than a dream, as the charity came up with new ways to raise as much money as possible for cancer care.
But two years on, it has become one of Friends of ANCHOR’s most successful and inspiring fundraisers – a way to raise funds while celebrating the beauty and bravery of women who have faced the reality of a diagnosis.
To date, the shows at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom have raised more than £120,000, the majority of which, at the models’ requests, has been invested in Friends of ANCHOR’s multiple cancer research projects at Aberdeen University and a cancer patient clinical trial at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI).
One woman who knows exactly what it is like to take part is Lisa Taylor, a mother-of-three from Stonehaven.
She was one of 24 women who strutted their stuff last year after nominating herself for the “magical” event.
“When I heard about it, I thought ‘wow, this is exactly what I need’,” she said.
“It gave me the energy and lift that I needed.”
The 47-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 following the birth of her youngest child, Emily.
Just three years later, she was told the cancer had returned in the form of bone cancer – the last thing she expected.
“I was completely shocked,” she said.
“I had to come to terms with it all over again.”
Thankfully she had the support of medics and specialists at ARI, who she said have gone out of their way to give her the best treatment possible as she successfully undergoes more treatment.
“My fears were quickly put to rest following the kindness and patience of the nursing staff in the chemotherapy clinic. All the staff do a wonderful job,” she said.
Aside from having the experience of her life during Courage on the Catwalk 2014 and raising money for charity, the ‘model’ said she had made friends for life with the other women who took part.
“We didn’t need to explain ourselves when we met – we had a common, strong bond already and we were friends from the word go,” she said.
She said that getting up on stage and seeing her family watch her from audience, including her children Bethany, 15, Harry, 12, and seven-year-old Emily, was a moment she would never forget.
“It is something that will stay with me forever,” she said.
“We were made to feel so special and important. It wasn’t just about the clothes and make-up, it gave us an inner confidence.
“It was a magical experience and I would urge any lady thinking about taking part to just go for it.”
Sarah-Jane Hogg, Friends of ANCHOR’s fundraising manager, said the charity is looking for 24 women again, of all shapes and sizes, who have faced the reality of a cancer diagnosis, and who think they have what it takes to get up on stage.
Three shows will take place over May 9 and 10 at the Beach Ballroom.
Applicants, or their families and friends who want to nominate them, have until Monday to apply. Contact the Friends of ANCHOR fundraising team on 01224 859170 or e-mail email@example.com