This post was written 1 year ago and therefore may not be as accurate as more recent posts.

Bury Hospice held their inaugural Catwalk of Courage Fashion Show where all the models had been affected by cancer.

Children and adults, male and female, all strutted their stuff on the catwalk to raise funds for the hospice with all clothes contributed by Littlewoods Clearance.

There were tales of courage and fighting spirit as each of the models admitted it was a huge confidence boost taking to the catwalk in front of a big audience – and they got to keep the clothes they modelled.

Jenner Jackson, 33, is a Specialist Sensory Support Assistant at Elton Primary School and had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 28 and it was such a shock, especially being so young. I thought it only happened to older people,” said Jenner.

“The hardest part was losing my eyebrows and eyelashes through chemotherapy as I felt that stripped my femininity away. You can cover your hair.

“I have just had my five-year checkup though and everything is positive. It was superb to be involved in something like this. I worked with Deborah Lisle, whose husband John died at Bury Hospice, and she asked me to do this fashion show and I wanted to help.”

Rosalie Madison, 53,  is a beauty therapist and she has also battled breast cancer as has Alex Grogan, 44, who had a mastectomy and reconstruction seven years ago.

Alex is a financial director at Frank Blakeley and Sons Ltd, an engineering firm, in Heywood.

“I am having on-going treatment,” said Alex. “I love amateur theatre so was happy to help out on Sunday and give Bury Hospice my support.”

Jackie Holland’s dad Phillip died of cancer at Bury Hospice in December and she has also battled breast cancer in 2012.

Jackie, 41, and her son George, 9 and daughter Millie, 5, who both go to Fairfield Primary School, were also models on the day.

“My children kept me going through a tough time,” said Jackie, who will be having more surgery this year.

Models for the day Marie O’Brien, 48, and Denise Jones, 58, both run Bury Hospice shops.

Marie runs the Radcliffe shop and both her parents died of cancer.

Denise is the manager of the Prestwich shop and has battled cancer four times – in the womb, breast and skin cancer.

“It’s a real treat to be pampered,” said Denise, with Natalie Jade Hair doing all the hair and make-up on the day.

Richard Quarmby, 46, was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 18 and abroad – he was a medic in the army.

“I play golf with Deborah Lisle and she persuaded me to model at the fashion show. It was hard being diagnosed at 18, especially as I was away from home, but thankfully surgery cured it.”

Richard is now an HGV driver for Fagan and Whalley.

John Ainsworth, 52, has the extremely rare carcinoid cancer and has had surgery on his stomach and bowel.

“I am still having treatment,” said John. “My wife Nicola works as a fundraiser at Bury Hospice so I was forced into being a model but I have enjoyed it.”
Patti Coxen, 52, also teaches at Elton Primary School with Jenner, and battled breast cancer nine years ago.

As a single mum-of-four it was tough for her but, three years after diagnosis, she became a grandma and met her current partner.

Last but certainly not least ten-year-old Corey Sewell, was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour in his pelvis at the age of two while on holiday in Florida. He was operated on and had chemotherapy for five months.

The St Marie’s pupil plays cricket for Elton Cricket Club and has just had trials for Lancashire Under 10s.

The event was held at the Longfield Suite and compared by the Mayor Councillor Mike Connolly and his consort Ian Hargreaves while Ms Manchester Earth Debra Taylor modelled auction prizes.

The models showed off party styles, summer clothes, casual attire, pyjamas and sparkled with glamour.
“It was a wonderful afternoon,” said Bury Hospice fundraiser and Catwalk of Courage organiser Michelle King. “The models showed such courage, they have such fighting spirit and determination and we are proud of them.

“Littlewoods Clearance has also been superb and the audience enjoyed it.”

Helena Risdale from Littlewoods added: “The Catwalk of Courage was about raising money for an amazing charity, Bury Hospice, and to celebrate the courage of those affected by cancer.”

Bury Hospice would like to thank all those who volunteered on the day, had stalls at the event and who supported the Catwalk of Courage.

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