“Being diagnosed with cancer has helped me fulfil my ultimate dream” - North Walsham mum-of-two lands modelling jobs after shaving off her hair

Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY

Friday, September 5, 2014
4:13 PM

A breast cancer diagnosis could have led mum-of-two Tammy Sheridan to give up on her dreams, but after shaving off her hair, the 33-year-old has landed a host of modelling jobs.

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Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY

“I’ve always dreamed of being a model and wearing all those beautiful clothes,” she said. “Being diagnosed with cancer has helped me fulfil my ultimate dream.”

It was a friend’s passing comment which made the North Walsham mum change her outlook. She said: “I couldn’t believe what I heard at first but then it sunk in. A friend said, ‘You look beautiful bald, it makes you look sexy’.”

The fashion-lover also had a meeting with dress designer Kevin Thornhill, who created gowns for celebrities and was involved with the design of Diana, Princess of Wales’s wedding dress.

The Sunderland-based designer organised a wedding-dress fashion show last week at St Mary’s Church in Happisburgh to enable Ms Sheridan to make her first public appearance modelling some of his gowns.

Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY Tammy Sheridan begins new modelling career. Picture: MAURICE GRAY

Ms Sheridan, who lives in North Walsham, was diagnosed with the disease in January, and underwent six sessions of chemotherapy and an operation to remove the lump and three lymph glands.

“I couldn’t go out anywhere at first and when I did had to cover my head with a scarf, but people still stared at me”, she said.

Ms Sheridan’s worries about her appearance were made worse when her daughter Kayleigh, 16, who had joined her mum in the head shave, mentioned she was getting spiteful comments about her shaved head from people including school friends.

Ms Sheridan, who also has an eight-year-old daughter Katrina, said: “There are some cruel people about and, at first, they got to us but we stood our ground and won in the end.”

Now Ms Sheridan wants to encourage other cancer patients to believe “bald is beautiful”, to boost their morale and help them fight the disease. And rather than watch her hair fall out, she held a charity head shave raising more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Supported by her partner Ben Edwards, 29, the head shave took place in front of an audience of family and friends.

Sister-in-Law, Debbie Sheridan, who helped organise the event, said: “Tammy is so brave and determined to fight this terrible disease, she has so much support.” She said when Kayleigh volunteered to have her shoulder-length blonde hair shaved off it had brought tears to her eyes.

Ms Sheridan’s doctor, Susanna Alexander, consultant medical oncologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “When patients receive a cancer diagnosis it can be devastating and affect every aspect of their lives. We admire Tammy for wanting to help others when she is dealing with her own recent diagnosis. She is a credit to her family and we wish her well.”

Ms Sheridan will begin a month-long course of radiotherapy this week.

■ Do you have a moving story? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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