Dundalk Pink ladies steal the show at charity fashion event

Karen Finnegan and her daughter Niamh at the Riboon Runway fashion show in aid of the North Louth Hospice

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

The real stars of the Ribbon Runway charity fashion show in aid of the North Louth Hospice in Dundalk Golf Club on Friday were not the models wearing the latest fashions from some of the town’s top boutiques. Instead it was the brave pink ladies whose lives have been affected by breast cancer modelling the Breastcare by Alison swimwear collection who stole the show.

In a show that all about women supporting women, they had the packed audience on their feet, dancing and applauding as they showed that life can be enjoyed after a cancer diagnosis.

Among those models was Karen Finnegan from Omeath, who spoke about her cancer journey, saying that she was “a proud breast cancer survivor for the last seven years.

Karen, who works in the canteen of Bush Post-Primary School, told how she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in June 2016.

She underwent surgery to have her breast removed, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and just last March had reconstruction surgery.

"To anyone out there going through cancer, losing a part of your body that you had for your entire life isn’t easy, but is is important to know that it doesn’t make you less of a woman,” she said.

She also advised people going through treatment not to be afraid to accept help and reach out.

She thanked all her family and those who supported her, saying that “along my journey I met so many special and inspirational people, people who will remain in my heart forever. “

One of those people, she continued was Alison McCabe, ”who gives great advice on prosthesis, swimwear and underwear and puts a sparkle back into the eyes of her clients.

"After such a terrible journey, Alison always brightens up our future, makes you feel good in yourself and builds your confidence back

The highly successful fashion show was organised by Alison McCabe who thanked all those who had helped bring it together and those who had donated prizes.

Alison the women who modelled the swimwear “as truly amazing and inspirational” and very special to her.

She said that some of the women were going through treatment while others were 50 years post-treatment. “We are all here to support each other each other”.

Niamh Mulligan of Radiant Touch Beauty, Omeath spoke about the free areola tattoo service that she offers to people who have had reconstruction after breast cancer. She has undergone special training to do this and has set up a GoFundMe page so that she can offer the service free of charge.