Pals bare all for brave Bianca

IPSWICH: As she battles cancer for a second time one brave mum has been overwhelmed by a ray of sunshine in her life as friends and colleagues are bearing all in a charity calendar to raise money to send her and her children on holiday.

IPSWICH: As she battles cancer for a second time one brave mum has been overwhelmed by a ray of sunshine in her life as friends and colleagues are bearing all in a charity calendar to raise money to send her and her children on holiday.

Bianca Chapman, of Cherry Blossom Close, has been fighting the disease for the last two years, missing out on taking her three young children on holiday three times because of treatment.

But now determined to see the family enjoy a much needed break friends have rallied round, posing in a 'Calendar Girls' type project to raise money to fund the trip as well as making a donation to the Woolverstone Wish Charity at Ipswich Hospital.

Miss Chapman was first diagnosed with non Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer on February, 19 2007, the same day as her youngest son Izaac was born.


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During her pregnancy the 28-year-old made repeated trips to GP's complaining of a shortness of breath and repeatedly she was told she was suffering from a chest infection and sent home.

But just days before Izaac was born Miss Chapman's symptoms had become unbearable. She went to the A&E department at Ipswich Hospital where doctors admitted her into Intensive Care immediately.

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A tumour in her chest measuring 15cms was discovered by doctors and on February, 22 2007, her 26th birthday Miss Chapman started the first round of chemotherapy.

After discovering she was pregnant with twin's mid-way through treatment she lost her babies and a short while later she and her husband split up.

She said: “I think my having the baby and having the diagnosis at the same time I had post natal depression and post traumatic stress and it put a huge strain on our relationship.”

Then in August she underwent another operation to remove a lump in her neck the size of an apple, which tests revealed was cancerous.

Miss Chapman said: “You just have to get on with it,” she said. “Instead of being negative I try to turn it around, it is the only way to get through it.

“If I had been diagnosed earlier I would have had to make a terrible decision about Izaac. The first thing that came to mind was 'why me, it's not fair' but you can either channel your energy into being positive or not and I threw myself into fundraising and being positive.”

She is now undergoing more chemotherapy and is facing a stem cell transplant to harvest off her bone marrow.

Speaking about the calendar she added: “I can't believe it. I was completely overwhelmed they have done this. Gem has really put her all into it. I was so surprised the number of girls who are so keen to get their kits off.”

THIRTY colleagues at The Body Shop have all pitched in to do their bit, stripping off to help their friend, Miss Chapman, who features in the August and December shots.

Organiser senior area manager Gem Richardson, of Kirton, said the calendar is due to be on sale at The Body Shop store in Ipswich by the end of the month.

She said: “The photo shoot went fantastically well, it was really good fun, I can't count the number of times I heard the girls say they needed a bigger beach ball or flowers as props.

“We want to thank the photographer Stevie Collins for giving up her time to do the shoot free of charge. It was brilliant.”

The idea behind the fun calendar is to raise as much money as possible to send Miss Chapman and her three children, Joshua, 8, Tia, 7, and Izaac, 2, to Euro Disney.

Any extra money raised will be donated to the Woolverstone Wish Charity at Ipswich Hospital.

The calendars will be priced at �10 and will be on sale at The Body Shop store or you can buy a copy by calling Mrs Richardson on 07886132235.

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