Lesley Morris was on holiday when she noticed her swimsuit was digging into her chest… She thought nothing of it at first but the indent in her skin wouldn’t go away and when she got back home she went to see her GP.
In her own words, her feet “never touched the ground”. Her doctor suspected something was seriously wrong and a visit to Tameside Hospital the following day confirmed suspicions – she had breast cancer.
“It was the quick thinking of doctors and nurses that saved me I’m sure of that. Within five days I was in theatre undergoing surgery to have a mastectomy, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy soon followed. Like so many women before me - and since - I owe so much to Mr Pardeep Arora, Mr Simon Ellenbogen and their wonderful teams.
So, as a way of saying thank you, grandma of two Lesley, who lives in Stalybridge with husband Alan, has teamed up with staff from the hospital’s breast clinic and good friends to organise a fashion show with a difference. Lesley, and the nine other glamorous models who will to take to the catwalk, have all been treated successfully for breast cancer at Tameside Hospital. The money the event will raise will support the project now underway to build a new state of the art £2 million Macmillan Cancer Unit within the hospital grounds.
“This is a wonderful collaboration supported by local businesses and Tameside College who are supplying the make up artists. We are so lucky to have the Civic Mayor, Councillor Phillip Fitzpatrick join us, and for young Coronation Street actress Ellie Leach, who plays Faye Windass coming along as our special guest. We are sold out and could have filled the hall three times over.”
Tameside Hospital’s Chief Executive Karen James says she can’t wait to take her seat on the night and meet Lesley again, and so many inspirational women who will have made the show possible.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK but thanks to early detection, better treatments and pioneering research, more people are surviving the disease than ever before. More than 80 per cent of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis and, as Thursday night will show, go on to lead happy and healthy lives, “ she adds.
The event, which takes place next Thursday night, will be bittersweet for Lesley, who works in finance. The date was changed to make sure that Mr Arora could be there, and it was only afterwards that Lesley realised it will be 12 years to the day that she underwent her life-saving surgery. She explains: “It is a coincidence but feel I’ve come full circle. Since then I’ve had two beautiful grandchildren, reconstructive surgery and a happy life. And I’ve seen so many other women with breast cancer fully recover because of the skills and dedication of the Tameside Hospital team.”