Calendar girls make a date with charity

The front cover of the Fitness with Grace calendar.

The front cover of the Fitness with Grace calendar.

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MEMBERS of a fitness club have made a special date with a charity close to their hearts.

A group of women who attend boot camp fitness sessions have a calendar after discovering their lives had all been touched by cancer.

The Fitness with Grace calendar, which they hope will raise as much as £25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, is the brainchild of personal trainer Grace Stilgrove.

Grace, 37, from Whitley Bay, said: “The Macmillan nurses were truly wonderful when my mum Brenda was diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder.

“Mum was only 58 and she wasn’t just fit, she was athletic, but sadly she died shortly after her diagnosis in May 2009.”

Her mum’s love of exercise inspired Grace to set up a personal training company, holding fitness sessions on beaches in Tynemouth and Seaton Sluice.

The calendar features images of the women in sportswear exercising on the coast.

“Nearly all the girls have stories to tell, and they’re not all about being victims of cancer,” said Grace.

“Although a couple of our calendar girls have family members with cancer, one woman is a cancer geneticist and another is a registrar oncologist.

“The calendar is not simply a fundraising initiative – it is also a great celebration of women dealing with cancer and trying to beat it.”

The Fitness with Grace calendar will cost £9.99 and will be available online at www.fitnesswithgrace.co.uk and at the Calendar Club shop in Eldon Square, Newcastle.