A breast cancer survivor has been chosen as one of 24 inspirational models at a London fashion show charity event in October to raise awareness of the disease.
Sarah Williams-Gardener, of Water End, Hemel Hempstead, will be strutting her stuff on the catwalk on October 2 at Breast Cancer Care’s annual fundraiser on London’s Park Lane.
Sarah, 47, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in December last year following a routine health screening.
Sarah, who works as director of public affairs at IBM UK, then underwent three gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and a full bilateral mastectomy in April, as well as reconstructive surgery. She is now in remission.
The mum-of-two, who lives with husband Richard and their two sons, said: “This disease can be lurking inside your body and you have no idea. It’s like a dark shadow.
“I want to encourage health screenings. I had no symptoms, no external signs. I want to raise awareness.
“My suggestion would be that, if you’re in your mid to late forties, you should get regular health screenings. It could be the best money you’ll ever spend.”
As a general rule, the NHS does not provide breast cancer screenings to those under 50. This is because research has shown that mammograms are not as effective in younger women, as the density of breast tissue makes it harder to detect problems and the incidence of breast cancer is lower.
Sarah said: “If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, then you can get support from your GP. I was one of the lucky ones, they spotted it. It was very aggressive and had already spread to my lymph nodes.”
Sarah will join 23 others on the catwalk at the Grosvenor House Hotel to prove that it’s possible to regain your confidence and look good after a breast cancer diagnosis.
She said: “Stepping onto the catwalk in front of everyone will be a chance to say thank you and do my bit to give back.
“It feels amazing to have been chosen, I feel privileged. It’s also a bit scary as well!”