Whalsay lass to make catwalk debut for brain tumour charities

A Whalsay lass recovering from a rare brain tumour is to make her debut on the catwalk in London – raising money for charity at the same time.

The fashion show is to be held in London Saturday afternoon as part of Ravi’s Dream Prize Draw which has so far raised £90,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity and Brainstrust.

Some of the items in the prize draw are being modelled by 20 children who have been affected by brain tumours, including eight-year-old Willa Shearer from Whalsay.

Willa had been suffering from headaches and changes in mood before getting diagnosed with craniopharyngioma in April last year.

After the diagnosis was confirmed, Willa underwent surgery to have the tumour removed.

Willa’s mother Alison Shearer told The Shetland Times: “She was in a coma in the intensive care unit and had seizures, she couldn’t speak for a while or move her right side.”

Alison said when speech therapists first came to visit Willa, to their surprise the focus was not yet on getting her to talk.

“When the speech therapists came in you thought it would be to get her speaking, but initially it was all about whether or not it’s safe to swallow and her being able to eat.”

Though Willa didn’t yet have her speech back, she maintained her sense of humour as Mrs Shearer said the first noise she made was laughter.

“The first sound that came out of Willa was a giggle, which was the best noise you could ever hear,” she said.

After only making what sounded like “animal noises”, eventually Willa spoke to her father Anthony in the middle of the night.

“We took turns sleeping in aside Willa every night.

“Anthony phoned me and told me he’d woken with her asking ‘can you hear me?’ she had gone from just making sounds to saying a whole sentence, it was amazing.”

Willa will now make her catwalk entrance this Saturday with the fashion show being streamed live on Ravi’s Dream’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages from 5pm.

Items can already be purchased for Ravi’s Dream Prize Draw here


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.