Keeping Abreast Fashion Show

Rowan MantellAll the glitz and glamour of the fashion show catwalk comes to Norwich this October. Fabulous clothes, high octane music and dancers, sparkling lights and waves of applause will greet the models.Rowan Mantell

All the glitz and glamour of the fashion show catwalk comes to Norwich this October. Fabulous clothes, high octane music and dancers, sparkling lights and waves of applause will greet the models.

And for every one of them, and every member of the audience watching, their spotlit sashay along the catwalk will be a life-affirming personal and public triumph.

Because these women truly are supermodels. They have all had breast cancer and faced the shock of diagnosis, followed by a frightening and gruelling onslaught of surgery and medication. But, on October 1, they will be celebrating life beyond breast cancer.

The models, who range in age from their 20s to their 30s, have all had breast reconstruction operations in Norwich - performed by some of the best surgeons in their field in the world.

Plastic surgeon Elaine Sassoon pioneered the operation in Norwich and is now part of a team of experts who can reconstruct a woman's breast, once the cancer has been cut out, using tissue from their own bodies.

Elaine and fellow Norwich surgeon Richard Haywood are patrons of Keeping Abreast, the patient-led support group for the growing number of women considering, or recovering from, breast reconstruction surgery.

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The Keeping Abreast Fashion Show is on Thursday, October 1, in St Andrew's Hall, Norwich. Doors open at 7pm.

Television personality Becky Jago, who lost her mum to breast cancer, will host the evening, which is sponsored by Nio Petroleum Ltd and Aquaterra, with welcome drinks provided by Zaks.

See clothes from Vanilla and Walkers of Pottergate; see dance teams choreographed by fashion show expert Stephen Knight and modelling clothes from Philip Browne and Catfish; see a hair show from Gallery Haircutters and vintage clothes from Ship of Fools. Most of all, this is a chance to see a remarkable group of women, to hear their stories and to raise money for others facing breast cancer.

All the money raised will support the work of Keeping Abreast.

Tickets, costing �10, are selling fast. Limited numbers are still available from victoriawhite@keepingabreast.org.uk or by calling 07799 258084.

t The Keeping Abreast Fashion Show also sees the launch of a 2010 calendar starring women who have had breast cancer. The photographs, by Julia Holland, of all-about-image, include quirky shots of the women covering their reconstructed breasts with anything from leafy bunches of carrots to handbags. Each month has a different calendar girl, or girls, pictured in sponsoring businesses across Norfolk. 'It was an absolutely amazing experience, doing the calendar,' said Julia. The fund-raising calendar will be on sale for �8.