Elesha’s model inspiration for 2015 calendar

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A young cancer survivor has organised a fitness-themed calendar to raise money for charity.

Elesha Turner, 21, had most of her bones in her left leg replaced with titanium after being diagnosed with bone cancer last year.

Doctors had to remove her femur bone, knee and two of her thigh muscles to get rid of the disease.

But since then Elesha has used her experiences to help inspire other sufferers by becoming a model.

She is now a keen campaigner to raise awareness about primary bone cancer, which affects 600 people every year in the UK and Ireland.

Elesha came up with the idea to produce the 2015 calendar featuring people from all over the UK who have lived through cancer to raise cash for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.

The project proved a success and she enlisted bone cancer survivor Ian Randall to photograph the piece, as well as attracting interest from patients and survivors in the USA, eager to be part of the calendar and share their stories.

The UK contingent met at Falaise Fitness Gym in October for a special photo shoot.

Elesha said: “I wanted to organise the calendar to show the people who have been affected by this disease and the fact we can all come together to fight this.

“The photo shoot was really amazing and being around other people who completely understand what you have been through was inspirational and emotional.

“Primary bone cancer is a really horrific disease and of the 600 diagnosed every year, only half will survive.

“Survival rates haven’t improved in 25 years which is why it’s so important to raise funds for research to help us beat primary bone cancer.”

Elesha was diagnosed with parosteal osteosarcoma in 2013 after returning from a holiday in Egypt.

She had been dancing all night at a club and woke up one morning with a stiff leg and pain in her knee. She had also found a lump on her knee.

After a scan doctors fast-tracked her for specialist treatment fearing it was an aggressive form of bone cancer.

Before her surgery she was warned she may have to have her leg amputated.

Elesha is now a disabled model for Models of Diversity, a non-profit organisation campaigning for the industry to use more models with disabilities.

Bone Cancer Research Trust chief executive Julie Harrington thanked Elesha for her hard work in bringing people together to raise awareness about primary bone cancer.

She said: “Elesha is a real credit to the charity, as are all the people from the UK and the USA who came together to inspire and help others who are going through the same thing. Their quotes about what gives them the strength to fight each day are just so inspirational and a reminder every day of why we cannot give up the battle against this brutal disease.”

The 2015 Bone Cancer Research Trust calendar, priced £9.99, is available from the Online Shop at www.bonecancerresearch.org.uk.