Wharfer tells of her new passion for life after battling breast cancer
Becoming one of the 55,000 women a year who is diagnosed with breast cancer can turn your life upside down.
For Canary Wharf resident and Reuters employee Leonie Welss, 42, beating the disease has given her a renewed outlook that has seen the advertising professional earn a promotion.
She said: "I no longer rush around. I am enjoying living life instead. My family and I are much more open with each other and I have been amazed by the love from people around me including family, friends and even strangers.
"Initially I took a lot of time off work but since my return I have been promoted and I am now really happy. I think my new positive attitude and strength following my diagnosis helped me to achieve this."
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and alarming statistics show that nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.
Leonie was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009 after discovering a lump while in New York on a business trip.
She said: "After I found it, I tried to calm myself down but I was really worried. I decided to go straight back to London and get it checked out. This was a good decision as shortly after my return I was told I had breast cancer.
"The week after I was told was the worst of my life. I had to have a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was extremely scared of starting treatment as I'd heard a lot of horror stories from other people about how awful chemo was.
"Luckily I found Breast Cancer Care's website where I spoke to other people who had breast cancer. I also signed up for the charity's peer support service where you have one-to-one phone calls with someone who has had a similar experience.
"It was nice to speak to other younger women with breast cancer as 80 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over 50, so it was quite unusual for me to be diagnosed at such a young age.
"Breast Cancer Care was a really helpful source of information for me when I was diagnosed.
"In 2012 I took part in their fundraising fashion show at the Grosvenor House Hotel in front of 2,000 guests.
"Modelling in front of so many people was terrifying but I'm so pleased I did it. I don't think I would have before my diagnosis. Hopefully I showed the world you can be beautiful and independent after treatment.
"My hope for the future is that one day there will be a cure for breast cancer. Until then, I hope women and men diagnosed can benefit from a charity like Breast Cancer Care. They helped me greatly to get a real perspective on a traumatic diagnosis like this.
"My advice to anyone diagnosed with breast cancer is that it is not the end of the road."
Go to breastcancercare.org.uk
Ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the Wharf:
The Parlour in Canada Square have created a special peach and rose daiquiri along with a pan-fried seabass with crayfish risotto, donating £1 from each to charity.
Go to theparlourbar.co.uk
Nails inc Cabot Place are challenging you to paint your pinkie pink using their Pinkie Pink glitter polish (£11) to win a year's worth of manicures and £250 worth of nails inc products. Tweet your photo @nailsinc @BCCampaign #PinkiePink, post to facebook.com/nailsincLondon or email to email@example.com
£1 from every Pinkie Pink polish sold will be donated to Breast Cancer Campaign.
Go to nailsinc.com
10% of each sale of a pretty peachy pink slouch cable jumper, £46, from Warehouse in Canada Place will go to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Go to warehouse.co.uk
M&S raises money through donations on sales of specially designed products during Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October. Pick up The Limited Collection non-padded bra £16 in Jubilee Place, which carries a 10% donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Go to marksandspencer.com