Cancer is not going to defeat Toni Riddick’s desire to help others fighting a similar health battle.
When the 50 year old, who works as a barber at Kwik Kutz in Garstang, began treatment for breast cancer she vowed she would raise cash for Lancaster based charity CancerCare.
Toni is also seeking crowd funding to get a specialised blood test to see if she could have passed susceptibility to particular types of breast cancer on to her daughter.
She said: “I was diagnosed in April with breast cancer. It’s an aggressive form. I thought there’s only one way to get to stay positive.”
That, she explained, was to fund raise by organising a Calendar Girls’ style shoot - following the example of the ladies from Yorkshire whose posed naked, barring protecting their modesty with appropriate accessories and whose story featured in a successful film.
Toni, whose home is in Glasson Dock, gained the support of the owners of the Middle Holly Tea Room at Forton. The venue as provided the perfect location for the photographing of Toni and friends for the calendar, which will go on sale later this year.
She said: “They let us have their venue and did all the baking for free. It’s quite a vintage style - people wore headscarves and pinnies. I hope it will be ready at the end of August.”
The calendar will be on sale at Middle Holly, Seed’s stationers on High Street, Garstang and hopefully other venues, at a cost of £8.00.
She is in the middle of 18 weeks of chemotherapy and expects this to be followed by surgery and radiotherapy. She said: “I’ve got a lot of support from friends who are in remission and I’ve lost friends to cancer. The support we have had on this journey so far is amazing. I can’t work because (of the risk of) infection. I’ve just been fund raising.”
She said special thanks are due to her supporters, including many from Garstang and Middle Holly.
Regarding the genetic blood test Toni said: “The NHS won’t fund the blood test to see if I’ve got the gene. I’ve got a daughter of 23. It will cost £1500 and my daughter needs to know.”.
Those posing for the calendar with Toni are: Emma Brierley and Toni Dagnall from, Garstang, Sara Payne from Chipping, Fiona Burford from Glasson Dock, Tina Eccles and Joanne Newman from Galgate and Tisha Sharman from the Midlands.
To sponsor the calendar or to help with the crowdfunding contact Toni via Facebook.