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September 2016

People on catwalk jpeg People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

People on catwalk jpeg

(Above) Breast cancer patients and survivors and their Western Bulldogs partners – (from top) Clare Culley with Dale Morris and Jake Stringer, Carolyn Rowan and Fletcher Roberts, Julieta Ilagan and Lukas Webb, Debra Bradshaw and Lin Jong, Caitlin Llewelyn and Easton Wood, Bree Comber and Joel Hamling, Raffaela Menta and Jason Johannisen and Paula Waters and Marcus Bontempelli – on the catwalk to raise funds for BreastWest.

Bulldogs on the catwalk with wonder women from Melbourne’s west

Western Bulldogs footballers joined breast cancer patients and survivors on the fashion catwalk in a fund-raising gala.

The event supported Western Health’s BreastWest organisation.

BreastWest is a group of volunteer fundraisers in Melbourne’s western suburbs, who provide practical help to breast cancer patients facing financial problems as a result of their illness.

The group’s annual fashion parade gala, held at Moonee Valley Racecourse, raises money to support Western Health patients and their families with practical items such as wigs, transport to appointments, housecleaning, counselling and other services.

‘A lot of charities are focused on research and equipment and that’s often what hospitals need,’ said Simonne Michelle-Wells, general manager of the Western Health Foundation, which auspices BreastWest.

‘But BreastWest is a very community-focused charity that’s really about the personal support of the women.

‘We provide wigs and even in-home food because these women usually have children and jobs and it’s this sort of practical support that they often need.’

More than 500 people attended this year’s fundraising gala.

Twelve patients and their Western Bulldog escorts modelled clothes donated by Wesson Stores, a leading fashion retailer.

They were supported backstage by a team of stylists, makeup artists from Iridis Cosmetics and experts from Bella Rouge Hairdressers.

Ms Michelle-Wells said the patients and the Bulldogs players loved participating in the parade.

‘Some of the players come back year after year and a lot of breast cancer survivors are in the audience.

‘You see these players go and hug these women and remember them fondly.

‘The women modelling the clothes look amazing.

‘They’re on the arm of an AFL player who’s so supportive and they all love the event.

‘They get so much out of it,’ Ms Michelle-Wells said.

The Western Bulldogs have a long association with BreastWest.

Club officials have served as members of BreastWest’s volunteer committee since 2005, when the grassroots fundraising group was founded.