Mum and personal trainer raises funds for cancer charities in Dorset | Bournemouth Echo

by fitness journalist

A LOCAL woman has overcome all odds to raise money for two cancer support charities.

Charlie Lowe, a gym owner and personal trainer from Bournemouth was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2017.

Four months later she was diagnosed again and underwent radiotherapy, chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and a further seven surgeries.

Charlie also suffered from two strokes.

She said: “It was scary being diagnosed again as I have three children, and all you think about is not being there for them during important events in their life such as exams and prom.

“However it really highlighted my amazing friends as during my treatment they picked up my children, cooked meals for me and more.”

Experiencing the horror of cancer spurred Charlie on to fundraise for cancer support charities, starting with her own line of athletic clothing, which donates a percentage of its profits to the Wessex Cancer Trust.

As a result of Charlie’s donations from her company, the Wessex Cancer Trust can now open four days a week, rather than the previous three.

With a taste for fundraising, Charlie fulfilled her idea of creating a calendar to raise money for Shine Cancer Support, a Dorset established charity that provides support exclusively for adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

The calendar includes 11 young people who have had a cancer diagnosis.

Each model portrays a different type of cancer, including the rarer forms.

Charlie said: “No cancer is any less scary or relevant than another. It’s really important that people realise cancer isn’t just an old person’s disease.

“The problems are different for younger people. You can feel very isolated when people assume cancer is an older person’s disease, so it’s vital to get the right support at this scary and stressful time.”

The photos within the calendar demonstrate a different approach to cancer, highlighting positive aspects for the patients.

Charlie was determined not to solely portray the devastating side of the disease.

She explained: “Each person is holding something that means something to them. One man is holding his phone because he is able to listen to music during his treatment.

“The photos are in black and white with the special items colourised to show each person’s story.”

The calendar also includes information regarding signs and symptoms, as well as websites of appropriate organisations for support.

This aspect is crucial to Charlie, because if one person considers the symptoms they may potentially have, more awareness is raised, even if it’s just one step at a time.

By selling as many calendar’s as possible, Charlie hopes to achieve her goal of raising money and awareness.

The beneficiary of the calendar is Shine Cancer Support, a U.K charity established in Dorset.

Shine Cancer Support’s vision is to provide tailored information and peer support for those in their 20s, 30s or 40s who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The impact cancer can have on the individual and individual’s family is severe, and is something that never leaves the person who has been diagnosed.

Charlie said: “Cancer doesn’t care how long you have or haven’t got. It’s like grieving; it leaves emotional scars. Even if you have been deemed ‘clear’ it’s always in the back of your mind. Any ache or pain makes you panic.

“But having cancer does make you live life to the full.”

Charlie hopes that by informing people of other people’s stories, cancer will be discussed more.

She said: “Cancer is considered a taboo subject; it’s a word that people don’t want to say. But knowledge is power and it needs to be talked about.”

There are a total of 1,000 calendars which will retail at £10.

For more information, or to buy the calendar, visit or pop into Wassmuffin Martial Arts, 686 Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth.

This content was originally published here.

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