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Royal Bournemouth Hospital patient hits the catwalk

5 September 2017

Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) patient, Sharon James, is set to hit the Breast Cancer Care catwalk during its annual show in London.

Sharon, who lives in Bournemouth and runs her own business, has been chosen as one of the models for the national charity’s fashion show which celebrates the strength and courage of its models, all of who have experienced or are experiencing breast cancer.

Sharon will be sharing the stage with a group of 30 women and two men and will be transformed from head to toe by a team of professional hair and make-up artists. The event will help raise funds to support the 62,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

Sharon said: “After my diagnosis in March 2016 I had two surgeries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and will be on hormone therapy for five to 10 years. The illness, particularly the chemotherapy side effects, knocked me for six so I'm thrilled to be selected as a model for the fashion show. It's light at the end of a dark tunnel.

“Now I’ve finished my active treatment I’ve been focusing on building myself up. As part of this I wanted to give something back; so far I’ve raised over £1,000 and sold over 30 tickets for the event.

“The fashion show opportunity came up at just the right time – I found out I’d been chosen in the week of my one year scan, at a time where I’ve been focusing on facing forward. Don’t get me wrong, there are still very challenging days and will continue to be but I want to hit it head on. Walking down the catwalk feels like it’s going to be very symbolic.

“Everyone knows me for my love of sunglasses and high heels so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to say to others facing a breast cancer diagnosis that you can get the confidence to face the world and shine again.

“I’m so excited – if a bit nervous – about the catwalk but I’m doing it for the team who helped me get to where I am today. This is for me and for them – my husband, friends, family and caregivers.”

Emma Wicks, RBH breast cancer nurse specialist, said: “The side effects of chemo can really affect some patients, which can take time to recover from, so it’s a real delight to see our patients finish their active treatment and do something amazing, like Sharon is doing.

“Sharon’s positivity will be a real inspiration to others currently receiving treatment. It’s not always easy to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and it can take time but Sharon is a great example to us all. We’ll be thinking of her on 28 September - she’s a true role model.”

If you’d like to raise money for cancer services at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, contact the Bournemouth Hospital Charity via charity@rbch.nhs.uk or call 01202 704060.

Sharon and Emma preparing for the catwalk

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