Full Monty with a real difference at Burnley Mechanics

The cast of Ladies' Full Monty are sharing a life-saving message. (s)

"It's frightening - I can't help but think in nine years' time I could have it. Because you're never too young to get it."

That's the stark warning from Siama Millington, of Burnley, who is performing in a charity strip-tease show to raise money for charity, Breast Cancer Care.

Each cast member has been affected by cancer. (s)

Siama (29) and a group of eight Burnley women, who have all been affected by cancer, will bare their souls and whole lot more in Ladies Full Monty on Friday at the Burnley Mechanics, at 7-30pm.

Their goal is to encourage people to check themselves regularly for lumps.

Siama, who went to Habergham High School, said: "Our hearts and souls have gone into the show.

"My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 and lost her life four years later so this event for me is in honour of her."

Despite feeling healthy, Siama's mum, Patricia Cooper, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 when she found a lump. She had surgery and chemotherapy before being given the all clear.

But in March 2014, she began to feel unwell and two months later doctors revealed the cancer had returned and spread to her lungs, liver and bones.

They gave her two to five years to live - but she died on May 30th within just a few weeks. She was only 43-years-old.

"It was the first time anyone had had cancer on my mum's side of the family," Siama said. "It was horrendous.

"Before the cancer, Mum had led a busy, full life working in accounts and she didn't smoke. She did everything in moderation.

"People associate breast cancer with women over 50 but you're never too young to get it so you need to check regularly for lumps.

"Women aren't the only ones at risk - men can also get breast cancer.

"It's frightening - I can't help but think in nine years time I could have it."

The risks for young people is something cast member, Kelly McDermott (29), knows all too well.

Kelly, who attended Towneley High School, was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 27-years-old.

"It was a huge shock as we have no family history of it," she said.

When Kelly found a lump in January last year, she left it for two months before her mum urged her to have it checked out.

She said: "I'd felt tired but I just put it down to being busy as I has no other symptoms. I've always gone to the gym and lived healthily."

Hospital tests revealed cancer and she underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Kelly has now been cancer-free for a year.

She added: "If you have any lumps or changes in appearance, please get them checked out and ask the doctor for a referral to the Breast Clinic.

"I was lucky we caught the cancer early so I could get back to normality within six months and I hope the show will encourage other people to look out for signs.

"I'm nervous but excited for the performance as it's been an emotional journey and I'm so happy to be able to stand on stage as a survivor and hopefully help others."

The show is based off the Full Monty film, a comedy about steelworker Gaz who forms an all-male strip-tease act to pay off child maintenance debts.

But Friday's version will feature a female-only cast, starring Siama, Kelly, Vicky Bradshaw (44), Carol Nortley (58), Linda Harris (61), Shelly White (44), Jillian Boggs (50), Alyson Whittaker (46) and Lindsay Parkinson (39).

Siama said she cannot thank the community enough for their support, particularly Hannah Bogg, of Shell's Belles, who has volunteered twice a week to help with choreography. Bands The Years, and Funk Soul City, and photographers Rob Keeble and Samantha Walsh, are also offering their services for free.

Entertainment will include a raffle, an auction, music by DJ Kyle Smith and an after-party at Remedy at midnight.

Siama added. "The girls have put a lot of work in, especially since none of us are dancers! What they are doing is really brave and I'm proud of each and everyone of them."

To buy a ticket for £15 search for Siama on Facebook or send an email to siamamillington@gmail.com

Or to make a donation please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/siama-millington

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