Catwalk modelling is a new calling for two Aberdeenshire men, as they prepare to strut their stuff for a charity fashion show at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom.
Ally McEwan, 26, from Portlethen, and Steven Moir, 58, from Laurencekirk, will take part in Brave, an annual fundraising event organised by local cancer charity Friends of ANCHOR.
Now in its third year and set to take place tomorrow (Friday), the event brings together 24 men who have faced a cancer diagnosis - both past and present.
Brave is more than just a fashion show as it recognises and celebrates the strength and resilience of all the men involved.
Ally was only four years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia,.
But thankfully he became cancer free after two years of chemotherapy.
Surviving cancer at such a young age has had a huge impact on his outlook on life, and he says that “every day is a gift”.
As part of this year’s line-up, he is keen to represent those who have gone through cancer as children, recognising that it will have a major impact on many, but it does not have to define who they are.
Ally said: “As an adult, looking back I can see that having cancer has been a major factor in my life.
“I was too young to fully understand at the time and was in my 20s before I was able to process what really happened and accept that being a cancer survivor is a big part of who I am – but it is not all I am.”
Despite being one of the youngest models in this year’s Brave line-up, Ally is hoping to share a powerful message that although his life may have gone down a different path, there is a bright future to be had after a cancer diagnosis.
Ahead of making his model debut, he added: “I would love to be part of the work Friends of ANCHOR do to improve treatment and facilities.
“I understand how important it is to have a good support and also how comforting it is to know that research is being carried out to improve treatment.”
For Steven, being diagnosed with renal kidney cancer in 2016 completely changed his life and forced him to adapt his previously active lifestyle.
Once an active badminton player and office team leader, he is no longer able to work full time or play sports.
Following surgery to remove a kidney in 2016, Steven then had to travel to Manchester for a type of treatment only available there – which came with severe side effects.
Now on a less extreme treatment plan, Steven has been able to ease back into a more normal routine and is a patient of Clinic D within the ANCHOR Unit.
He said: “Family, friends and colleague have been an inspiration to me through my illness.
“My partner and I focus on day-to-day life, living as near to normal as we did prior to diagnosis.
“For anyone else going through a diagnosis, I want to reassure them that they are in the best possible hands, receiving the best possible care.”
Through taking part in Brave, Steven hopes to reclaim lost confidence and make memories – and he has relished the chance to bond with others on a similar journey.
Sarah-Jane Hogg, fundraising and development director for Friends of ANCHOR, said: “We are delighted to have Ally and Steven modelling in Brave this year.
“Their stories represent the breadth of how a cancer diagnosis can impact a person’s life, and the lives of their families, and we’re proud to have them sharing theirs as part of our model line-up.”
Models in this year’s event will take to the stage for two shows - on in the afternoon at 1pm and the other at 7pm.
All funds raised from Brave this year will be ring-fenced for the new, multi-million-pound ANCHOR Centre which will be the first of its kind in Scotland, estimated to be used by 65,000 patients a year.
Tickets for the afternoon event are currently on sale. It runs until 4.30pm.
Ballroom tickets are £25 which includes a welcome drink, foodie favour, one-course meal and tea/coffee.
Balconly seats are £10 (ticket only).
To enquire about purchasing tickets please call 01224 859016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org