The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, and Kim Dowling are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk.
The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, and Kim Dowling are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk. Marc Stapelberg

Stellas strut in red to raise awareness of cancer support

WOMEN from around the region will be marching down Molesworth St in Lismore tomorrow evening to raise awareness for Under the Red Dress.

No, it's not to promote lingerie. Rather, they will be raising awareness for cancer support foundation Under the Red Dress as part of the Lismore Stella Network's first Stella Strut.

The charity was co-founded by Alstonville woman Beth Whaanga who gained national publicity for posting photos of her post-cancer body online.

Ms Whaanga was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 32nd birthday and underwent a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy and melanoma lumpectomies.

STELLA STRUT

When: Meet tomorrow at 4.30pm for 5pm start.

Where: Meet in the Back Alley Gallery then Stella Strut through Lismore via Molesworth St, Browns Creek car park to end at La Baracca.

Who: Women from all over the region are invited.

What to wear: Heels and a touch of red or black.

The surgery left her with numerous scars on her breasts and below her stomach.

As a result, Ms Whaanga decided to co-found Under the Red Dress to create awareness, acceptance and support for people with cancer.

The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, and Kim Dowling are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk.
The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, and Kim Dowling are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk. Marc Stapelberg

In the month she was elected Lismore mayor, Jenny Dowell was diagnosed with breast cancer and later underwent a mastectomy. She said she was delighted the Stella Network had taken up the cause.

"It's the hidden side of breast cancer and people do judge books by their cover," Ms Dowell said.

"There are absolutely beautiful women who have gone through this difficult surgery.

"Some have had reconstructive surgery but many have chosen not to and unless you've actually been there, you don't realise you're not getting back what you lost.

"I think for women of all ages, it is a disfiguring surgery and the more we can talk about it, the more we can support the women."

(From left) Lismore city centre manager Jason Mumford and The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, Kim Dowling and Mel Carrero are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk.
(From left) Lismore city centre manager Jason Mumford and The Stella Strut organisers Sharon Dowling, Rebekka Battista, Kim Dowling and Mel Carrero are hoping for a large turnout for the inaugural walk. Marc Stapelberg

The Stella Strut will step off tomorrow evening to mark the start of breast cancer awareness month.

Stella Network member Rebekka Battista said the women in business network was hoping to get 100 women in red at the strut.

"You don't have to be part of the Stella Network or a woman in business, but the Stella Strut is literally gathering all the women around us and in the area to let people know who we are but also make a statement for a charity," Ms Battista said.



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