Caroline's Catwalk Confidence Boost

Courage of local fashion show star

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Cancer patient Caroline Martin took centre stage in a Wimbledon fashion show when she won a "Search for Catwalk Star" competition.

Caroline, aged 31, didn't tell friends and extended family she had won Centre Court shopping centre's competition, instead choosing to just share the experience with her mum, Amy.

She strutted her stuff (right) as part of the Centre's autumn/winter fashion event after organisers appealed for an aspiring catwalk star, just hours after latest blood tests and was still sporting a hospital bandage.

She shared the stage with TV presenter Laura Schofield who announced fashions featured in the display.

Caroline, from Stoneleigh, modelled a deep purple new evening gown from Debenhams and a bracelet and matching necklace worth £500 from Swarovski – and said she felt a million dollars.

Currently undergoing daily treatment for her Hodgkins Disease at University College Hospital, London, Caroline said repeated chemotherapy sessions had knocked her confidence and that the fashion show would prove a welcome boost.

It was a special treat to have her hair done she says, as it had been adversely affected by her treatment, to the point where she had shaved it all off – and has done again since the show.

Accountant Caroline was given a makeover by experts from Smashbox Cosmetics and Toni & Guy at Centre Court. She was also presented with a £100 Debenhams voucher and a bouquet of flowers. 

She said: "I enjoyed my makeover and getting dressed up. I was quite nervous to start with but got into it and found my confidence. Thanks to everyone at Centre Court for making me feel so special."

Wimbledon Centre Court’s marketing manager Sam Brown said: "Caroline was the undoubted star of the show. We were really touched by her story and feel privileged and humbled to have been able to help give her a special day."

Caroline faces a further week of chemotherapy, followed by four weeks of stem cell treatment. She was first diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease in August last year and underwent months of treatment. The disease returned in September this year.

"The hope is that by Christmas, I won’t need to go to hospital any more," said Caroline. "But I love doing new things and I don’t see why anything should stop me."

October 17, 2011