Stuart’s Brave Story5th June 2019
We were delighted to sponsor the Friends of ANCHOR Brave and Courage on the Catwalk events held at the Beach Ballroom. Friends of ANCHOR are one of our nominated charities this year, so we were thrilled when the opportunity arose to sponsor these fantastic events.
Stuart Barron, our Hire Mobilisation Technician, has been with us for over 7 years and is a valued member of the ACE Team. He took part in this year's Brave event. He tells us about his experience:
How did you first hear about the Friends of ANCHOR Brave event?
My late mother in law took part in Courage on the Catwalk in 2015 so when I was diagnosed I had a feeling my wife would nominate me for the male version.
What made you decide to get involved?
I found out that my wife and my mum had nominated me, and then I received a phone call from Sarah-Jayne at Friends of ANCHOR to say I had been selected. I felt I had to take part as the charity do so much in terms of looking after you in hospital, research into treatments and adding much needed equipment to the ANCHOR unit. I felt like it was my chance to give something back by raising as much money as I could.
What did you have to do to prepare for the show? What were rehearsals like?
After being selected, the models, ANCHOR ladies and the Premiere Productions team all met up at the Beach Ballroom for press photos and a “meet and greet”. A week later we all met up again in Aberdeen at Parx café for a dinner where we shared our cancer stories etc. After that it was into 5 weeks of rehearsals every Wednesday at Balmoral Group.
The first rehearsal was nerve racking as none of us were in our comfort zone dancing and flailing about but by the time the 2nd rehearsal came around we were naturals. The guys from Premiere Productions made us feel at ease and taught us how to work the catwalk, building our confidence.
After Rehearsal 4 some of us had a lock in at Gibbs Menswear in Inverurie where we were fitted for suits and kilts and treated to beers and cake. The following week it was into John Lewis to get fitted with casual wear, but I would say it was more loud than casual.
On the week of the show we were invited into Aberdeen to Mr Dun Barber on Belmont Street, where we got our haircut and our beards trimmed and styled to look good for the shows.
How do you feel now that you’ve done it?
Immensely proud that I was chosen to be part of such a special and unique event, but also a bit sad that it’s over with now. All the models have a WhatsApp group though, so we can keep in touch.
What was the most rewarding part of the event for you?
A big part of it is that you get to meet other people who genuinely understand what it’s like to have cancer and go through the treatments because, no matter how much your family and friends are there for you, nobody really knows what it’s like until they have to deal with it so to be able to talk with people like that was a big help for me. In terms of a highlight I would say that when you step onto the stage with 22 genuine heroes and the entire venue is on their feet applauding and cheering for you is an amazing feeling! And hopefully the money generated from the event truly helps people who are unfortunate enough to receive a cancer or haematology diagnosis in Grampian in the future.