Cancer survivor takes to the catwalk for charity

Charlotte Williams
Charlotte Williams

A mum-of-three from Horsham will join other cancer survivors in a fashion show to help raise money for The Olive Tree.

Charlotte Williams is taking to the catwalk at The Hawth Theatre on Wednesday, June 29 as part of an evening of fashion, music, dance and shopping.

The evening is in aid of the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, a small independent charity which provides a wide range of free support services to local people affected by cancer.

Charlotte said: “I volunteered to be a model, after hearing about the show when attending Olivine meeting’s at the Olive Tree Centre. The Olivine meetings are for younger women who have had or have breast cancer.

The 41-year-old was studying Midwifery at King’s College London before she was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in June 2013 and secondary breast cancer in August 2013.

She said: “The cancer had spread to one vertebra, which is unusual, known as Oligometateses. Usually, when cancer spreads it goes to more than one place. My cancer also did not spread through the lymph system, it used a vascular route.”

Charlotte had eight cycles of chemo, her hair fell out after the first treatment. She then went onto having a mastectomy on January 2014, and radio therapy following that. She takes tamoxifen orally, and has two injections every thre weeks, Herceptin and Denosumab indefinitely.

In March 2016, Charlotte had a DIEP breast reconstruction (10 hour surgery, 12 week recovery), and on April 19 this year she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

On May 6, she had the tumour removed and is now recovering.

And Charlotte was full of praise for the Olive Tree for their support for her and her family.

She said: “The Olive Tree has helped now only me, but my fiance and our daughter.

“We have all received counselling, and I have had several holistic treatments such as acupuncture, and EFT. The Olivine meetings, give me the opportunity to meet other younger women who have been though a similar experience to me.”

The Olive Tree often has guest speakers who provide useful information about cancer, research, treatments; plus information about services outside of the Olive Tree such as companies who provide support for those who have lost their hair.

Charlotte added: “I also attended the singing group, which has been one of the best experiences for me.

“Singing, has helped with my confidence, I find I can now express myself in a more concise manner; plus the connection with the other singers is very powerful. The vibrations in the room are so positive and uplifting when we sing, it is wonderful, everyone should have a go!

“Marilyn (Drury) the manager and all of the volunteers do a fabulous job, so much so I now consider Marilyn a friend.

“I have also made many new friends through the groups I have attended.”

Emma Hayter, 34, from Maidenbower in Crawley also took part. She said: “It was at the AGM that I saw the importance of fundraising and donations in order to keep the Olive Tree running and providing its valuable resources.

“It was following this meeting I volunteered to be a model, I feel so appreciative of the support I have received from the Olive Tree that now it’s my turn to give something back.

“Knowing that all of the staff and therapist are working within a cancer support centre helps me feel comforted and confident that I am understood. The work that they do is truly amazing.”

Tickets for the fashion show are £12.50 and the evening starts from 6.30pm

Visit for more information.

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