Posted on Monday 8 June 2015
Our inspirational cancer survivors and catwalk superstars
Cancer survivors shared hope and inspiration as they strutted their stuff on the catwalk at the UK’s first event to celebrate Cancer Survivors’ Day yesterday (Sunday 7 June).
20 cancer survivors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals wore special designs by Newham College fashion students as they officially opened the event at Guy’s Hospital.
Jake West, 20, from Canterbury in Kent, is a cancer survivor and modelled in the fashion show. He has been undergoing treatment for a rare brain tumour for the past three years and has just had the all-clear.
He says: “I walked down the catwalk for my mum, my friends and family, and the dedicated staff who supported me. It wasn’t just my cancer journey, it was all of ours, and I could not have done this if it wasn’t for them.
“I spent most of my teenage years living with a brain tumour but, after a successful operation and tough recovery, I’m living my life again. I’m back at college and work, and can’t wait to go to university in September to study Engineering.”
As well as the fashion show, cancer survivors, and patients currently undergoing treatment for the disease, their loved ones, and staff, enjoyed live music and entertainment, an interactive ‘Tree of Hope’ and tours of the new Cancer Centre which is due to open at Guy’s Hospital.
The event was inspired by a visit to the John Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, USA, where they’ve been celebrating Cancer Survivors’ Day for 20 years.
A live video link joined the two events, and special guests from Baltimore travelled to London to share the celebrations.
Diana Crawshaw, cancer survivor and Chair of the Patient Reference Group for the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, says: “Exactly a year ago a group of us had the privilege to be at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins to share their celebrations of Cancer Survivors' Day.
“We were so inspired by this event that we immediately began to plan for our own Cancer Survivors' Day.
“I’m thrilled with the results of this very special and inspiring day. It is said that survivorship begins on the day of diagnosis, and this celebration has been enjoyed by all, as we came together to offer our support to each other, express gratitude to our carers, and value the clinicians involved in our care.”
Professor Arnie Purushotham, Director of King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, says: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the event organisers, volunteers, exhibitors, patients, families, carers and staff. Without them this incredible event would not have been possible.”
The event was supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. The Charity helps supports cancer care and services locally and is also a major funder of the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s.
Watch a video of highlights from the fashion show and Cancer Survivors' Day.