The North-east fashion show Courage on the Catwalk, organised by cancer charity Friends of ANCHOR, is set to return this May with three local women joining the line-up.
Heather Singer, 53, Kim Keillor, 35, and Adrianna Glennie, 39 are among 24 women who will take part in three live shows on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom.
Courage on the Catwalk, now in its seventh year, celebrates and recognises the bravery and strength of the models who have all faced a cancer diagnosis – past and present.
Heather, from Portlethen, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017.
Despite being faced with a challenging course of treatment and surgery, Heather says her daughters, Chloe and Bekki, brought out a hidden strength she didn’t know she had.
She said: “Dealing with this has brought out in me a strong fighting attitude and determination to just get on with things whatever the problem is.”
Now she has been given the all clear, Heather is taking part in Courage on the Catwalk to show her daughters there is life after going through a cancer diagnosis - and she plans to live it happy and healthy.
For Kim, also of Portlethen, who was a new mum she was diagnosed with a rare form of neuroblastoma, the news came as a devastating blow.
With her daughter Abbi less than a year old, treatment wasn’t easy, but with the support of her family, she is through the other side and has been clear for two years.
Kim said: “Everyone at the ANCHOR Unit was lovely, doing their utmost to make me comfortable and the whole process easier.
“My oncology team and surgeons were brilliant, and I cannot thank them enough.
“They made sure I had the best treatment possible and I’ve now been clear for two years.
“I’m incredibly grateful to my friends and family who were by side throughout it all.”
“One in a million” is the statistic Adrianna was given when she was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of blood sarcoma cancer, Epithelioid Haemangioendothelioma (EHE).
Being one of only three in Scotland and one of only around 75 UK sufferers, Adrianna has not yet required chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Her cancer will hopefully remain stable for many years, but she lives with the knowledge it could become aggressive at any time.
Adrianna, who is originally from Stonehaven, doesn’t let that stop her from sticking to the EHE motto: ‘Just live’.
She is passionate about giving back to Friends of ANCHOR, a charity that was also a huge support to her late brother Garrith.
He continued with his business Complete Fire and Safety while he underwent treatment, before tragically passing away with CNS Lymphoma in his brain in 2016.
Adrianna said: “Friends of ANCHOR made every visit comfortable for my brother and took any worries he had away.
“A friendly, smiling face went a long way to lift his spirits.”
Sarah-Jane Hogg, fundraising and development director at Friends of ANCHOR, said: “We are honoured to have Heather, Kim and Adrianna bringing their courage and bravery to the catwalk.
“All three women have thrown themselves into the Courage experience, bringing their all to rehearsals and forging new friendships with their fellow models.
“Cancer does not define these women - each one of our models is so much more than their diagnosis. We can’t wait to celebrate who they are with their friends, family and loved ones watching them over show weekend.”
Around 8,500 guests have filled the Beach Ballroom for Courage on the Catwalk since the event launched in 2013, with 144 inducted into the model ‘family’ and more than £620,000 raised.
All models in the line-up are professionally styled and trained with several rehearsals in the lead-up to the event.
Limited availability remains for the evening performance on Sunday, May 12.
To book tickets or hear more information about how you can support the event with a raffle prize or donation contact 01224 859170.
Funds raised towards Friends’ £2 million ANCHORED Together appeal.