Posted on Monday 26 June 2017
Cancer Survivors taking part in the fashion show at Guy's Cancer.
Cancer survivors shared hope and inspired others as they strutted their stuff on the catwalk yesterday (Sunday 25 June) as part of Cancer Survivors’ Day celebrations at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Sixteen cancer survivors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals wore special designs made by Newham College and Stock Shop as they officially opened the third annual Cancer Survivors’ Day, held this year at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s. The fashion show was attended by the Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Charlie Smith, and West End actress Ria Jones, who is a cancer survivor herself.
Graham Dobson, a retired solicitor, is a cancer survivor who modelled in the fashion show. He underwent treatment for advanced prostate cancer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in 2012 and is now cured and in good health.
Graham, 67, said: “I walked down the catwalk for my friends and family, as well as the dedicated staff who supported me. It was a huge shock to be diagnosed, but after a successful operation and tough recovery, I’m 100% healthy and living a more full and more active life than before my exceptional treatment and care.
“I honestly feel that the first class surgery, treatment and care by Guy’s and St Thomas’ helped cure me. I wanted to give back, so last year I abseiled down St Thomas’ to raise £3500 for Guy’s Cancer Centre Appeal and I’m now also a volunteer at the Cancer Centre.”
As well as the fashion show, the celebrations included live music and entertainment, talks on health and wellbeing and tours of the Innovation Hub, the state-of-the-art research facility in the Cancer Centre, which opened last September. The day also included a 3.5km, 6km and 11km Celebration Walk taking in London’s sights to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise vital funds for Guy’s Cancer.
The event was inspired by a visit to the John Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, USA, where staff and patients have celebrated Cancer Survivors’ Day for 20 years.
Diana Crawshaw, cancer survivor and Chair of the Patient Reference Group for the Cancer Centre at Guy’s, said: “Several years ago a group of us had the privilege to be at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in the USA to share their celebrations of Cancer Survivors' Day.
“We were so inspired by our experiences at Johns Hopkins 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 Comprehensive Cancer Centre, said: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the patients, families, carers, staff, volunteers, event organisers and exhibitors. Without them this incredible event would not have been possible.”
The Cancer Survivors’ Day events were organised by King’s Health Partners, which Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is part of.