Fight with illness honoured at Lindfield fashion show

Natalie with her children Erin and Oliver. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150804-094154001
Natalie with her children Erin and Oliver. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150804-094154001
  • A fashion show honours Natalie Gee and Phillipa Jackson, who have both suffered life threatening illnesses
  • Clothes shop Doodie Stark, where they both worked, organised the event
  • The show raised money for charities Brainstrust and Breakthorugh Breast Cancer

A fashion show celebrated the recovery of two work colleagues who have fought life threatening illnesses.

Natalie Gee was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, and Phillipa Jackson a brain tumour in 2010.

The support Doodie Stark gave me when I was going through my treatment was amazing

The pair, who both work for clothes store Doodie Stark in Lindfield, have both made encouraging recoveries.

The store held a fashion show at Lindfield Primary School on March 20 to raise £4006 for charities Breakthorugh Breast Cancer and Brainstrust.

Natalie, mother of Erin, 7, and Ollie, 4, recalled her diagnosis.

“At the time it was the most frightening thing to be told,” she said.

“The support Doodie Stark gave me when I was going through my treatment was amazing, it’s a small company.”

Her children have supported her through the illness.

“They knew I had cancer, I didn’t want to keep anything from them.

“They knew my hair was going to fall out, and we all shaved it together, my husband is a hairdresser, we just made a joke out of it.

“Their behaviour was amazing, not once did they play up, or ask too many questions.

“Some people say they can’t get out of bed during chemo, but I couldn’t do that, I’ve got kids to bring up, I’ve still got to take them on the school run.”

When another mother at her school was diagnosed with cancer, Erin wrote her a get well soon card.

Phillipa has had three brain operations since her diagnosis.

In 2010 Giles Critchley operated on her at Hurstwood Park, Haywards Heath.

“Basically he saved my life,” Phillipa said.

“I learnt very early on that a brain tumour is there for life - you may have some removed but you can’t get rid of it.

“I don’t look ill - and that is one enormous problem for those of us with tumours as you can’t see them.”

Liz is an advocate for charity Brainstrust.

“Brainstrust also has a Facebook for its community of both people with tumours and their carers.

“We all support each other - we can ask a question knowing it will be answered by someone in your exact position,” she said.

Catwalk models at the event were provided by The Gielgud Academy in Haywards Heath.

The fashion show showcased the spring and summer collections from Doodie Stark.

Liz Jefferson, of Doodie Stark, helped organise the event.

“I am so grateful to Liz for organizing the show and to everyone who donated their time and raffle prizes and all the ladies who came - that money will be put to very good use helping people like me,” Phillipa added.

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