A COURAGEOUS Greenock mum who is battling breast cancer has been chosen to star in Scotland’s most inspiring fashion show.

Joyce Demelas has been selected for the annual Breast Cancer Care Scotland Fashion Show in Glasgow alongside 23 other people who have had a diagnosis of the disease.

Joyce, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy, says it’s an 'honour' to take part and she wants to send a message of hope to women across Inverclyde who have diagnosed the disease.

Joyce, of Mews Lane, said: "I will be sharing the stage with so many inspirational women.

"We have all been affected by breast cancer and some like myself, have had a secondary diagnosis.

"There are 24 models in the show and I'm one of three whose story will be shown on a big screen at the show.

"This week Breast Cancer Care came to film me at my house and also at my friend's farm, it was a lovely day."

Last year Joyce saw her world change forever after she felt a mild pain following a swimming session.

The 55-year-old, a devoted wife to husband Gianni, who ran the chip shop at the West Station, and mum to Gioia, Gianluca and Sofia and a doting grandmother, immediately went to see her GP.

She was referred to the hospital for a mammogram and biopsy and given the devastating news that she had cancer on the same day as her daughter Gioia’s birthday.

Since then she has undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, overcome life threatening infections, had a mastectomy and 21 lymph nodes removed from under her arm.

In August, Joyce received the news that the cancer had spread to her neck.

Despite this setback, she is determined to remain positive and is currently undergoing chemo.

She said: "While I was on holiday in Italy this summer, I developed a terrible cough.

"After I came back, I was put on a bone strengthening drug and while I was at the hospital they checked me over to see if it was a side effect of the drug.

"I was sent for a CT scan of my chest and they came back and told me that the cancer had spread to my neck.

"If I hadn't had the cough, I would still be none the wiser.

"I have been very lucky that it was picked up relatively quickly."

Joyce feared the news would mar an eagerly-awaited family holiday to Jamaica.

But she said: "Then I spoke to a nurse at the Ardgowan Hospice just before I went on holiday and it completely changed my outlook.

"She told me to live my life and not to put my life on hold.

"She told me that every week and every month there's new drugs coming out and that if the drugs I'm on don't work, don't worry as new drugs are coming onto the market all the time.

"She made me feel so much better.

"It changed everything."

Joyce enjoyed an 'amazing' holiday to Jamaica and says it lifted her spirits.

She said: "My family have seen a huge difference in me.

"I do feel really good in myself - long may that last."

Joyce hopes her story will give hope to others who are going through similar situations.

She added: "Sometimes you don't know where people get the strength from to get through it.

"But the will to live is very strong when you get a diagnosis.

"The saying 'seize the day' is so true.

"Do the things that you keep putting off.

"Do simple things you enjoy - live for the day."

Joyce is looking forward to strutting her stuff at the glitzy fashion show at the Hilton in Glasgow on Thursday October 24.

The event will raise vital funds to support the 4,700 people diagnosed with breast cancer across Scotland each year.

Joyce and her fellow models will hit the runway wearing a range of beautiful outfits from House of Fraser all professionally styled by Ian Tod.

The models will also have their hair expertly styled by Sassoon Salons and celebrity make-up artist Sara Hill’s Academy of Make-up will be adding the finishing touches.

Claire Devlin, of Breast Cancer Care Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud of our brave models who will be starring in the show this October.

"All our models will enjoy some well-deserved pampering and show that it’s possible to look great and feel confident after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

“The show will be filled with fine food, fashion, fundraising and first class entertainment.”

To buy a ticket, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/theshowscotland