Why FAB1 Million is so important: a personal perspective

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about with the FAB1 Million project for Breast Cancer Care then read this story – the personal perspective of Tracey – a breast cancer survivor who is fully behind the FAB1 Million project.

“April 2013, sitting at a meeting at Breast Cancer Care, we were told of the fund raising project that Chris Evans was launching with his number plate FAB 1 in aid of Breast Cancer Care. My clock then turned back to the 60’s and the television series Thunderbirds. It was one of my favourites and as my dad was in the toy business, even though I was a girl and had the usual Sindy and Barbie dolls, I did have a Thunderbird Two, which had Thunderbird Four in its belly! I always wanted a Lady Penelope car, but no such luck.

Tracey and some of the girls at the photo shoot with Duncan Willis' Chris Evans puppet
Tracey and some of the girls at the photo shoot with Duncan Willis’ Chris Evans puppet

I distinctly remember my dad not going to work one Saturday morning and surprising me with cinema tickets to see the new feature film of Thunderbirds Are Go. I was so excited and off we went to the cinema in Edgware. I remember there being gadgets and buildings that were technical and did very clever things. I especially remember Tracy Island and the swimming pool that moved to let Thunderbird One take off.

Many years later, I think probably in the early 90’s, Thunderbirds came back in a big way. By this time I was married and had two sons and by a complete co-incidence my father-in-law also was in the toy business. My boys loved Thunderbirds and to get a Tracy Island was like gold dust. They were photographed for the local paper in Welwyn Garden City dressed in their Thunderbirds dressing up costumes.

Rolling forward to 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease that seemed to have been hovering around my life since 1972 when my Mum fell victim to the disease and again in 1983 when I lost my stepmother. In early 2007 my mother-in-law was diagnosed and I went along with her to the hospital for her initial appointment. I then found small lump (my first lump was in 1987) that for all intents and purposes looked to be nothing to sinister. How wrong could I be? It was in fact cancerous and I had to have surgery to have a partial mastectomy and reconstruction followed by twenty sessions of radiotherapy.

In 2008 I was watching Lorraine Kelly one morning and saw that there was a fashion show that evening being put on by Breast Cancer Care. I immediately looked up the charity and found a wealth of information for ladies (and men) and their families on all aspects of breast cancer. I applied to be a model in their show in 2009, but was not given a place. However, in 2010 I made the grade and graced the catwalk with 23 other ladies and men who had all had a diagnosis of breast cancer. The excitement of the day was right up their in my top 10 of best days ever! We gave our team the nickname of “Superheroes 2010”.

The following year I was giving a speech to the models for 2011 and started chatting with a lady from QVC who sponsor The Show. This led to me getting a phone call in June 2011 to be asked to go for an audition to be a guest presenter on the shopping channel. I passed with flying colours and have been presenting for them since, which is something I have always wanted to do.

My relationship with Breast Cancer Care and fundraising for them has continued to grow. I took part in the Pink Ribbon Walks in 2011 at Blenheim Palace and again in 2012 at Blenheim and also at Marble Hill Park as part of Team Q (the QVC Team). I am also on The Show committee, meeting once a month with the Special Events Team to organise the fashion show in London in October. My son is running the marathon as part of their team this year.

When we heard about the possibility of the FAB1million project, it was met with “wows” “OMG” “amazing” to mention but a few. For such huge celebrities to give of their time to travel the country in the most gorgeous vehicle is truly wonderful.

Breast Cancer Care sent me the e-mail last week asking to attend the photo shoot on Wednesday and of course, this was a no brainer for me. Little did I know then that I would be in the company of a beautiful car in my favourite colour along with celebrities fund raising for this inspiring and supportive charity, whose services are invaluable and special friendships are made through meeting others who have been on a similar journey to you.

For me, whilst a diagnosis of breast cancer is not something you would want, it has opened so many doors for me. I would never have thought I would end up presenting on television let alone writing this blog for the Gerry Anderson website. It really seems my life has gone in a full circle!

Where to now? Well, I have been thinking about this and ask myself a few questions. Would I like to join the team from Lands End to John O’Groats to blog/Twitter/Facebook along the way? Yes. Can I provide enough Skittles to keep the drivers happy? Yes. Do I have enough pink items of clothing in my wardrobe for the journey? Yes. So with all items ticked just ask the question – Tracey, would you like to join the team from Lands End to John O’Groats? I would answer quicker than you can say FAB1 Million – that’s a huge YES m’lady!!!!

FAB1 Million aims to raise £1 million for Breast Cancer Care over the next 12 months. Find out more here

P.S. I am revisiting my youth and watching Thunderbirds Are Go – what fun and how ahead of time was it!”

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