Girls tell their story through a calendar

Launch of a naked calendar at the Grand Hotel, Tynemouth, to raise money for Macmillan with (left to rigfht) North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley joined by Fitness For Grace members Joanne Johnson, Grace Stilgrove, Faye Morris, Kelsey Noon and Sarah Fordham.
Launch of a naked calendar at the Grand Hotel, Tynemouth, to raise money for Macmillan with (left to rigfht) North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley joined by Fitness For Grace members Joanne Johnson, Grace Stilgrove, Faye Morris, Kelsey Noon and Sarah Fordham.
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FITNESS fanatics in North Tyneside have launched a calendar to raise money for Macmillan.

The ‘Fitness With Grace’ calendar originated after a group of women took part in a boot camp on the beach and discovered they had all been touched by cancer.

Personal trainer Grace Stilgrove, from Whitley Bay, hopes the calendar, which went on sale last week, will raise £25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

She 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.”

Brenda’s legacy to her daughter had been a love of exercise and Grace started a personal training company, holding fitness sessions on the beach at Tynemouth and Seaton Sluice.

After discovering other boot camp members had links with cancer, she decided to create the calendar, which features images of the women in sportswear exercising at the coast.

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

“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 costs £9.99 and is available online at www.fitnesswithgrace.co.uk where payments can be made via Paypal. It will also be on sale at the Calendar Club retail outlet in Eldon Square, Newcastle.

If you would like to hold your own event or make a donation to Macmillan call 0300 1000 200.

Macmillan Fundraising Manager for North Tyneside and North Tyneside Coast said: “The calendar looks fantastic and we really appreciate the support Grace and all of the ladies involved are giving Macmillan.

“The money raised from the calendar will help Macmillan to continue to provide its local services to people living with cancer and their families.”