Grandmother fronts cancer campaign

AT an age when most other women are retiring, one Suffolk grandmother has become a national catalogue model and poster girl.

Laurence Cawley

AT an age when most other women are retiring, one Suffolk grandmother has become a national catalogue model and poster girl.

Lorraine Cockerton, 61, from Bury St Edmunds, will be starring up and down the country on posters promoting Cancer Research UK's Christmas campaign.

The grandmother-of-two, who runs a hair removal business in Bury, was called out of the blue by Cancer Research UK and asked whether she would mind taking part in a photo-shoot in Putney for the charity's catalogue.

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The call came after her photograph was taken by a Cancer Research UK employee during the charity's conference in Newmarket earlier this year.

Mrs Cockerton, whose own mother, 78-year-old Yvonne Aratoon, has twice had ovarian cancer, said the chance to help had been “very exciting”.

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“I'm honoured to be one of the faces of Cancer Research UK's Christmas campaign and to help raise money for their ground-breaking work,” she said.

“Lots of people went up to London. It was a very exciting day having our photographs taken. We were then told we would be on the front cover of their Christmas catalogue.

“A lot of the other people in the catalogue have had cancer treatment. I feel I am just on the fringes really because my Mum had it. My mum and I are living proof of the huge developments in research however much more needs to be done to improve survival rates.

“If my story encourages people to get out there and start shopping to help Cancer Research UK then that's great.”

Cancer Research UK is so close to her heart because of her family's medical history. Mrs Cockerton took part in a 10-year Cancer Research UK-funded research project after it emerged both she and her mother had a faulty gene called BRCAII.

The pair were tested for the gene, which can predispose women to ovarian cancer, after Lorraine's aunt and grandmother both died of the disease.

As a result of finding her cancer early, her mother Yvonne Aratoon, has survived the disease twice.

Paula Young, Cancer Research UK's Suffolk spokeswoman, said: “It's wonderful to see Lorraine starring in the shop posters and on the front page of the catalogue.

“There is a fantastic range of products available this Christmas and we would encourage people to pop into the shops, browse the catalogue or go online to check them out.

“Not only will you find great value gifts to get your Christmas shopping off to a great start, but you will also be helping to save lives.”

The catalogues are available at all Cancer Research UK shops and online at .

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