Elstree Cancer Centre witnessed glamour and glitz as patients took to the catwalk to raise money for Macmillian Cancer Support and Penny Brohn Cancer Care.
Make-up artists from Lancôme were on hand to pamper the models before they took to the catwalk which was compared by Eva Wilson, personal stylist at John Lewis in Brent Cross. The show included three themed outfit changes: animal print, winter florals and evening glamour.
Forty-four year old Pipa Oliveri, was one of the models involved in the fashion show. Last October she went to her GP as she had an itch on her left breast, and after tests and scans was shocked to discover she had breast cancer. Following surgery she visited the Elstree Cancer Centre for daily radiotherapy which finished two months ago.
Pipa says: “Having cancer is not just about fighting a disease, it can make you re-assess who you are and what you’re doing. It has certainly changed me. I wouldn’t have done anything like be involved in a fashion show a year ago, but I just thought ‘why not?’. “It’s raised money for charities, was good fun, and seeing me doing my catwalk-walk certainly gave my children something to laugh about!”
Over 100 people attended the annual fashion show which included male patients for the first time in the four years it has been running.
Steve Wheatley, 35, was diagnosed with colon and lung cancer, and is currently undergoing daily image guided, intensity modulated radiotherapy. He said: “My hands and feet are still a little unsteady due to the high dose of chemo that I’ve had, but I was still happy to take part.
“I was facing a bad picture at the beginning of the year and even when I agreed to take part I was pretty unwell. However, last week I found out that the colon cancer is now clear so the fashion show has definitely come at the right time for me. It was good to be part of such a fun, up-beat and positive evening.”
Elstree Cancer Centre, which is jointly run by Cancer Partners UK and Spire Bushey Hopsital, was the first stand-alone cancer centre in the UK to provide both advanced radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the private sector. The centre has an ethos that treatment should be accessible, and holistically delivered causing as little disruption to patients’ lives as possible.
Sam Roberts, centre support coordinator at the centre, said: “What a fantastic evening. Everyone looked fabulous, and it was so nice to see some of our male patients getting involved this year. We’re so grateful to everyone who joined us for the evening or donated things for the auction and raffle which helped us raise so much money.”
Auction lots included a selection of Arsenal Football Club merchandise and signed photos, donated by a patient who works for the club helped to boost the coffers.
Sam added: “As a Macmillan-accredited cancer centre, with therapists from Penny Brohn Cancer Care providing complementary treatments to our patients on-site, we’re delighted to support these two worthy charities.”
On the catwalk – patients model the John Lewis Autumn collection at Elstree Cancer Centre.