Inspirational Linda To Walk The Catwalk for Maggies

Linda Thomas and Vicki Dickinson small
Inspirational Linda To Walk The Catwalk for Maggies
05 June 2018

An inspirational Medical Records Clerk from the Royal Oldham Hospital will soon be walking the catwalk in aid of Maggie’s Manchester charity.

Linda G Smith, 61, will be strutting her stuff at Manchester Airport on 16th June to help raise vital funds for Maggie’s – and she says it’s her way of helping to support other people going through cancer. She is keen to raise money for Maggie’s and spread the word about the fantastic range of support, help and advice the centre offers for people living with cancer.

Linda explains how she got involved: “I spotted a post on Facebook. They were looking for 50 people to get involved with a fashion show, so I applied and luckily I was chosen. I feel very privileged to be taking part. The rehearsals have brought together a whole range of people who have been or are currently being treated for cancer. There are some truly inspirational people involved and I’m very excited to be taking to the catwalk. The rehearsals have been positive and upbeat, and I couldn’t be more proud to get involved.”

Linda’s fight against cancer began four years ago in 2014, when she was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), a type of head and neck cancer. SCC is the most common type of head and neck cancer, which accounts for about 90% of all head and neck cancers. Squamous cells are usually found in the cell lining of the mouth, nose and throat and symptoms can take the form of many common symptoms including a painless swelling or lump in the upper neck, headaches, blocked nose, nosebleeds or difficulty swallowing.

Linda recalls that she didn’t have any obvious symptoms when she was originally diagnosed back in 2014. She had gone for a routine doctor’s appointment and following some tests was shocked to find out that she had cancer.

Linda explains: “The day I was diagnosed, I walked back to work in complete shock and just packed up my things. I found it so hard to tell others about my diagnosis. It was especially hard to tell even my close family, who were also going through a tough time. At the time, my mum was being treated for leukaemia and within 14 months of my diagnosis, my two sisters were also diagnosed with breast cancer. My son and daughter in law in Australia were also dealing with a poorly baby. It was a very difficult year. Luckily, I had some very good family, friends and colleagues who took me to treatment and supported me throughout. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“Maggie’s at Oldham didn’t exist when I was going through treatment. It’s a fantastic centre. I would recommend that people pop along and find out more about the great range of support services available - it can be a lifeline when you are living with cancer.”

Linda successfully came through her treatment for SCC and despite another cancer scare with lung cancer in 2015, is now cancer free. She believes that fundraising for Maggie’s is her way of giving back, helping others and raising awareness about the great support available from such charities. She has raised £1300 to date with help from a range of local businesses including Lees Brewery and Salon 260 in Middleton Junction.

Maggie’s Manchester are hoping to raise £250,000 from the fashion show. The show will bring together around 50 models, all living with cancer, to put on an inspirational fashion show that proves that you can live with cancer, have fun and still look great during and after treatment. Singer, Rick Astley and his band will be entertaining everyone on the day, in what is sure to be a fantastic event.

If you would like to find out more about donating to the charity, visit Maggie’s Just Giving website page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/maggies/ontherunway.

To find out more about Maggie’s and the support they offer to people living with cancer, visit: https://www.maggiescentres.org/our-centres/maggies-manchester/.