Edinburgh fitness instructor signs up for charity catwalk after beating cancer

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A plucky fitness instructor will swap her trainers for top togs at a charity catwalk in bid to raise money five years after beating the disease.

Mum-of-two Jill MacGregor was dealt the devastating blow on her 48th birthday before being launched into a relentless regime of treatment to try and cure the cancer.

But five years later, after gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy the fitness enthusiast is fighting fit and will take to the catwalk to raise funds for Stand Up To Cancer to celebrate the milestone of being five years in remission.

Jill, 52, who had the words live, love, laugh tattooed on her chest close to where she had her life-saving surgery, can’t wait to take part in the fashion show.

She said: “It was some birthday present to find out I had cancer.

“It was a shock at first but it helped me once I had a treatment plan so knew what lay ahead. That put me back in control and I got through it. I think it’s so important that cancer is detected early.

“I’m a survivor and I want everyone else to survive as well. That’s why I can’t wait to get up on the catwalk at the fashion show and give my heartfelt support to Stand Up To Cancer.

“Raising vital funds for life-saving research is a great chance to get payback on cancer.

“Everyone knows loved ones who’ve been affected. I really hope as many people as possible will get behind this vitally important campaign because together, we can wipe the floor with cancer.”

She’ll be cheered on by her husband, Colin, 52, and children Samantha, 26, and Cameron, 18, who stood by her every step of the way through cancer.

Jill was diagnosed at St John’s hospital, Livingston on November 28, 2013 after visiting her GP with pains in her right breast.

Her treatment finished in June 2014 and she still takes the drug Tamoxifen daily.

Now back to full fitness, Jill completed her first half marathon earlier this year and runs 14 Glow exercise classes across Edinburgh every week.

She will be joined on the catwalk by 29 volunteers including 85-year-old Betty McVay and youngest model, 17-year-old Paul Reville-Auchie.

Paul Reville-Auchie, 17, who volunteers as a window dresser in the Stockbridge Cancer Research UK shop is loving every moment of helping with show preparations. Paul said: “I have a passion for fashion.

“I’m working towards a career in fashion journalism when I leave school so it’s been a brilliant experience bringing this fashion show to life.

“There are so many amazing items you can pick up in a charity shop. There is so much potential. I’m keen to help redefine what it means to charity shop.”

Betty McVay, who is the oldest model at the show held at Edinburgh College’s Granton Campus, overcame Non-Hodgekin lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells.

This is the tenth anniversary of the annual fashion show which has raised more than £30,000 towards vital research into the disease.

Jill, Betty and Paul are all supporting Stand Up to Cancer to highlight the stark statistic that four people are diagnosed with cancer every hour in 
Scotland.