St Albans cupcake shop owner strips for cancer charity

THE courageous owner of a St Albans cupcake store has bared all to help a close friend raise funds for the Cancer Treatment and Research Trust (CTRT) following nine traumatic months of intensive chemotherapy.

Luisa Zissman, owner of Dixie’s Cupcakery in Market Place, has joined other women to pose au naturel for photographer Chris Dunlop, whose work has appeared in the likes of Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Twenty-nine brave women shed their clothes to help raise funds for a campaign organised by Charlotte Solomon, after she suffered a molar pregnancy last year.

Charlotte explained that after falling pregnant, she was found to suffer the condition which causes pre-cancerous cells to form in the womb.

Charlotte said that it was hard to comprehend going from one of the most beautiful moments of her life, through the despair of miscarriage, followed by discovering she had a critical illness.

She added: “Instead of nine months of pregnancy I went through nine painfully traumatic months of intensive chemotherapy to treat and beat this.”

Charlotte, who has been given the all-clear, said that the rare condition afflicts about 1,500 women a year, and can affect anyone at any age, whether in their first or subsequent pregnancies.

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She said: “Undoubtedly this has changed my life forever, but I’m now on a mission to transform this negative chapter into a positive experience.”

Charlotte is raising awareness of gestational trophoblastic disease, the full medical term for a molar pregnancy, and helping those who may end up on the same, “roller coaster journey.”

Luisa said that Dixie’s Cupcakery has so far donated about �800 through both sponsorship and from proceeds of sales of a special cupcake named ‘Charlotte’s rocky road’, a rocky road flavoured cupcake she created to help raise funds for her friend’s calendar and campaign.

Luisa described the calendar shoot as enjoyable, even though she was a bit nervous. The charity calendar will be available at Dixie’s Cupcakery from mid-November.

For more details visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/calendar2012

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