A former medical publishing consultant from Barton-on-the-Heath makes her catwalk debut this weekend at the age of 69.
Maggie Pettifer will be strutting her stuff in front of 200 onlookers on March 10, as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
She is one of a dozen models, aged between 17 and 69, who have been diagnosed with the disease and will be taking part in the Touch of Teal with Ovacome charity event.
Maggie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago, after suffering from a distended abdomen and a sudden change in bowel function – two common telltale signs of the disease.
Maggie said: “I have been in excellent health all my adult life. I was quite shocked to find, when on holiday two years ago,that I couldn’t poo properly and my jeans felt tight. I remember joking with my husband that I had eaten too many cashew nuts.”
Almost nine in 10 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer had suffered abdominal bloating but in only 20 per cent of those cases was this symptom enough to prompt the sufferer to visit their GP.
It is these warning signs and the acronym BEAT – Bloating, Eating less, Abdominal pain and Toilet habits – that both the awareness month and the London fashion show hope to highlight.
Maggie remains an outpatient of Oxford’s Churchill Hospital and was treated at the Horton Hospital following surgery. She is taking this opportunity to give something back.
Maggie said: “I have jumped at the opportunity to model at ‘Touch of Teal with Ovacome’.
The catwalk is a seriously scary place, but the dresses are gorgeous and the other models very supportive. I am so looking forward to it. It’s all part of my philosophy of living well with active cancer.
She added: “I want to lead an expanding life. Every day I welcome new friendships, new directions, and above all new ways to support other women behind me on this pathway.”
Maggie, with fellow patient, Elaine Kidd, also started a support group called OXCHOCS, who meet every eight weeks at the Maggie’s Centre alongside Churchill Hospital.
Sponsor Maggie at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/margaret-pettifer