Calendar girls boost appeal to save ex-army medic Katrina Brown

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Katrina Brown and her friends at the Calendar for Katrina shoot. Pic Darren Juggins Katrina Brown and her friends at the Calendar for Katrina shoot. Pic Darren Juggins

A DESPERATE race to raise £90,000 so an ex-army medic from South Cerney can be given lifesaving treatment has almost reached the £30,000 mark.

Katrina Brown, has been told she must receive the stem cell procedure within a few weeks if she is to have any chance of beating her systemic sclerosis, which is terminal.

But there is no treatment available on the NHS in the UK, so she has to go to Chicago.

This week the appeal is set to be boosted by the launch of a saucy calendar posed by friends from her army days.

Katrina explained: “My friend’s cousin is a Royal Marine and they did a calendar for the Royal British Legion which I shared on my page. Obviously the ladies were all over it.

“We were messing about and a couple of the girls I used to be in the army with said we should do one. We were just joking. The next thing my friend Ruby phoned me and said the venue was booked, we had a photographer and a graphic designer was ready. Nobody was expecting it.

“Of course once one person had said yes, nobody else felt like they could back out.”

Katrina and her friends gathered in Lincoln for the shoot last week and spent a night catching up before having their hair and make-up done by volunteers and posing for the photographer.

As well as being a fundraiser, it was also a morale booster for Katrina, who has been suffering increased pain as the condition, which attacks her joints and organs, progresses.

“I really enjoyed meeting up with everybody. We’ve not been all together for 10 years.”

The Calendar for Katrina can be ordered online at calendarforkatrina.co.uk at £9.95.

The 31-year-old, who was exposed to depleted uranium while on deployment to Iraq 10 years ago, has also been told by her specialists in America that an anonymous fellow patient has donated money to pay for her accommodation when she has the treatment which uses her own stem cells to reboot her immune system.

Katrina’s appeal is going to be projected onto the side of the Eagle Tower in Cheltenham between 5pm and 11pm on December 20. Ex-Coronation Street star Sacha Parkinson has also been tweeting about Katrina after taking part in a coffee morning in Manchester.

Local fundraising includes a sponsored head shave at the Horse and Groom in Charlton by staff member Olly Robins.

Donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/2jbkd0, through a donation bucket at Tesco Kingsmeadow in Cirencester or by cheque made payable to Katrina’s Stem Cell Fund.

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