Cancer survivors in call to sign up for special event

IN 2001 Claire Crawford was given the news everyone dreads.

At just 22, Claire had to face up to becoming the latest Cancer statistic. Her life was immediately turned upside down. The source of the tumour was located and suddenly she had to undergo two major operations in the space of several weeks to have her kidney removed.

It was a tough time for her. Instead of celebrating graduating from university she was instead facing up to a lengthy rehabilitation.

Through it all though she stayed positive as she beat the

illness before marriage and the birth of her son followed.

Ten years on she remains positive with those dark days of illness now well behind her. And to celebrate her '10th anniversary', Claire has come up with a very special event.

"I always vowed that I would do something on the 10th anniversary of me beating cancer," she told The Coleraine Times.

"I wanted to give something back into the local community and to send a positive message to cancer patients and their friends and family.

"So after a bit of brain storming I came up with the idea of host-

ing a fashion show with a twist. "The twist being that all the models will be Cancer survivors - I think this is the first show of its kind to be staged in Northern Ireland.

"So as well as me being able to celebrate life they too can also celebrate their own battle in beating this terrible illness."

Claire has already received a lot of response to her idea - which has been dubbed 'The Walk of Life - but she is appealing for fellow survivors, volunteers and local businessesto come on board.

"It's frightening but there are very few people now whose lives haven't been affected by Cancer in some way," said Claire.

"Because of this people are only too welcome to help out and I've been absolutely thrilled with the response I've got at this early stage.

"At the minute we have approximately 10 survivors who have volunteered to participate.

"However, we especially need more males, children and young

people to get involved too.

"Cancer can effect anyone regardless of age, so we want this event to be as representative as possible.

"We've also had a good response from local businesses

and the community, but we still need more volunteers.

"We are currently in talks with two local hotels in the Causeway area to secure a venue for the show, which we plan to stage in November."

If you are a survivor who would like to take part in this event or you

would like to volunteer to help in anyway you can contact Claire by

phone on: 07767444741. Or via email at: clairecrawford@mobilee-

mail.vodafone.net.