Brain tumour patient models designer hat for Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Lisa Connell

Lisa Connell models the Nashwan hate, after the 1989 Derby winner. - Credit: Rachel Thornhill

A Potters Bar mum and brain tumour patient was among the models chosen to show off hats designed for the Platinum Jubilee and to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

Lisa Connell was one of 15 women to wear the hats created by top milliners, in association with the British Hat Guild, The Jockey Club and Go Epsom.

The hats will be displayed in the prestigious Queen’s Stand for both days of The Cazoo Derby, which takes place of the Platinum Jubilee weekend, before being auctioned to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.

Lisa, who modelled a hat named Nashwan, after the 1989 Derby winner, said: “I was absolutely delighted to be asked to take part in the shoot.

Lisa Connell

The hats will be displayed in the prestigious Queen’s Stand for both days of The Cazoo Derby, which takes place of the Platinum Jubilee weekend. - Credit: Rachel Thornhill

“It was a such an exciting day; we were photographed alongside professional models on the private balcony of the exclusive Royal Box, overlooking Epsom Downs.

“I never thought I’d get the chance to wear such a gorgeous outfit and have my hair and make-up done in a truly iconic venue. The hats were just amazing too.

“My hat was created by leading milliner Jenny Roberts and was inspired by the power dressing of the 1980s and the elegant turban and brim hat worn by Princess Diana that year – it was beautiful.”

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Lisa was joined in the photoshoot by her best friend Sally Godman and fellow brain tumour community member Anne McEntee, who sadly lost her husband Tom to a glioblastoma multiforme in late 2015.

Lisa Connell

Lisa (left), with best friend Sally Godman (right) and Anne McEntee. - Credit: Rachel Thornhill

Sally has been supporting Lisa through her diagnosis, after Gamma Knife surgery to reduce the tumour left her with agonising facial spasms which can occur up to 12 times a day.

“Having Sally by my side for the shoot made the day extra special,” Lisa said.

“She helps me with everything, from cooking and cleaning to doing my weekly shop.

“Although my prognosis is good, I live with the after-effects of my brain tumour treatment and normal, everyday tasks can be a real struggle.”

Lisa was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour at the age of 26, and after tragically losing her baby, she fell pregnant again nine years later, giving birth to Ruby despite advice from doctors that the pregnancy could kill her.

To donate to Brain Tumour Research, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/OfficiallyLisaConnell