WHEN Julie Barrett stripped off in front of the camera for a nude calendar in aid of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation six years ago, she couldn’t have predicted one day she would need their help.
The 49-year-old, from Bispham, was more than happy to be photographed in a bluebell wood as part of the fund-raising Running Bare calendar in 2006, along with fellow members of her running club.
She felt it was a worthy local cause and took part in numerous fun runs and half-marathons in aid of Rosemere and similar charities with the Women’s Running Network.
Now the grandmother-of-two is herself experiencing first-hand the excellent work and support offered by Rosemere.
She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in November.
Although the tumour was located in her breast, the illness is not typical breast cancer.
Julie says doctors have said they do not believe the condition – called adenoid cystic carcinoma – is life-threatening, but they do not fully understand the illness as little is known about it.
She is currently having radiotherapy at Rosemere, after having a lumpectomy and mastectomy.
She said: “I would never have thought all that time ago that I would be needing Rosemere.
“But I found a lump, which actually turned out to be a cyst – and when they did a biopsy it was discovered I had cancer.
“It’s not typical breast cancer – it’s a really rare form of cancer.
“It was certainly a relief when they said they didn’t think it was life-threatening, as far as they know.
“My attitude is well ‘let’s get on with it then, what’s the next step’.
“Initially I had a lumpectomy, but not enough was taken out, so I had a mastectomy in January.
“They removed my lymph nodes as a precaution and I am now undergoing radiotherapy at Rosemere.
“Now I am seeing first-hand where the money people like me have raised goes to and it really brings it home just how important it is.
“Rosemere helps so many people from all across the area.”
Julie says she is glad to have taken part in the fund-raising calendar back in 2006. Her photo shows her in a bluebell wood and shows both her breasts.
She said: “I wasn’t shy really, it was just good fun!
“I like the fact I have this photo to see how I used to look before the surgery.
“I am now waiting for reconstructive surgery, but have been advised to wait 18 months to make sure the cancer doesn’t return.
“You do things like fund-raising for local charities, but I don’t think you realise just how much it means until you or your family experience it yourself.
“I’m hoping to do more fund-raising again soon.”