A former sales and marketing manager for Travel 2 who was diagnosed with breast cancer is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support by donning different and innovative headgear every day for a year.
Sara Cutting, who has so far raised more than £14,000, has just been named Role Model of the Year by Woman’s Own magazine for her unusual challenge. The title has won her a seven-night cruise on board MSC’s Poesia out of Venice.
Sara, who worked for Travel 2 from 1986 to 1999 in roles including sales and marketing manager, events manager and project manager followed by a stint at John Hickey Travel in Brighton, had surgery a year ago after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She has since undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“It all happened completely out of the blue. I discovered a lump after having a shower and went straight to the doctor’s,” recalls Sara, 47, who co-owns a building company with partner Liam.
Within weeks she had been diagnosed with cancer. “It spread to the lymph glands and before I knew it I was having surgery. You are thrown into this surreal world.
“The most scary thing was losing my hair. I had really long blonde hair and I went and literally had half my head shaved off and it felt okay.
“Then I came up with the head gear challenge; it brings a bit of brightness to something that is otherwise grim. I can’t really believe the impact it’s had and I feel humbled by the people who have got in touch with me. My initial target was about £200 but within three days I had reached £1,000; it’s been phenomenal.”
Based on the support Sara has herself received from Macmillan, she hopes to raise awareness of the charity’s work as well as much-needed funds to help others.
“On the day I was diagnosed there was a Macmillan nurse sitting next to me and she was at every appointment in those initial few months and explained everything to us. I feel like she is an old friend now,” added Sara, who has been left with nerve damage in her arm.
Sara, who is hoping to do some motivational speaking at conferences and events in future, said: “I have been out of travel for a long time but as a result of going public on Facebook about my challenge I have reconnected with a lot of people I used to know at Travel 2 and in the travel industry.”
The last day of her challenge, day 365, will be on October 13 this year.
She is already planning to wear a captain’s hat donated by MSC Cruises on the first day of her cruise on September 4 but is appealing for more help from the travel industry to create hats as well as donations.
To donate to Sara’s challenge, go to justgiving.com/chemosnoodhead
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