When Joy Northcott felt a lump in her breast she thought nothing of it – having discovered numerous bumps previously with all of them coming to nothing.
So, after getting it checked at the GP, she knew something was wrong when she was referred to the Edinburgh Breast Unit at the Western General.
After her diagnosis on March 12 last year the Edinburgh University worker underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is currently on hormone therapy.
For the married 47-year-old it’s been one of the most turbulent years of her life – and she’s determined to mark it by doing something special.
So Joy is preparing to put her best foot forward and join 19 other patients for a brave catwalk show for Breast Cancer Care Scotland. The strong-willed model is the only participant from Edinburgh in next month’s national event, which takes place in Glasgow.
She said: “I was 46 when I was diagnosed, and I always thought really that breast cancer only happened to older women. It is always a massive shock when it happens. It turns your whole life upside down.
“You can feel as if you are the only person in the world who is in that situation.”
Joy has managed to remain strong and positive through the love and support of her husband Peter Bennett, 67, family, friends, colleagues, and cancer support groups.
Indeed Peter says “living life positively and getting a lot out of life” has become their new mantra. It’s also the new-found attitude that saw Joy volunteer for the fashion show in a flash.
She added: “Taking part in the show is something wonderful to look forward to and something I would never have had the confidence to do before. It will be a chance to show that, despite breast cancer, you can still look great, have fun and live life to the full.”
The fashion show is helping Joy to remain positive as she undergoes cancer treatment. She is particularly looking forward to the makeover and the glamour saying it will be a real antidote to treatment which is “not at all glamorous”.
Fundraiser Joy has already managed to raise £1560 for Breast Cancer Care Scotland and hopes to raise a lot more to support the 4400 people who are diagnosed with the disease every year across Scotland.
Dawn Stanley, Events Officer at Breast Cancer Care Scotland, said: “We are all extremely excited to see our inspiring models take to the catwalk. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our models to be pampered while raising money to help others facing a breast cancer diagnosis.”
One in eight at risk
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with approximately 55,000 people being diagnosed every year, 400 of which are men.
One in eight women in the UK are at risk of developing breast cancer.
This year’s fashion show takes place on Thursday 26th September at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow, with tickets priced from £60.
Money raised from this year’s show will enable Breast Cancer Care Scotland to continue to provide its free service.
For more information, or to sponsor Joy, visit http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/fundraising-events/events/show-glasgow.