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24th February 2020

Boutique owner uses ‘terrifying’ brush with cancer to help others

A Bournemouth boutique owner who has inherited a cancer gene from her mother and grandmother, has pledged to use her love of fashion to help Dorset cancer patients.

Monika Theodoris, owner of Moni Boutique in Burlington Arcade, Old Christchurch Road, has made Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) her charity of the year and is planning fashion-inspired events to raise money for its work.

Monika said: “I have experienced both the fear and devastation of cancer.

“My mother has been through throat cancer and her mother before that. My sister and my niece also carry the gene.

“And two years ago, just six months before my wedding I had a scare and went through the terrifying wait for results of a biopsy.

“Thankfully I was ok, but it now means I have to have a scan and face the same wait for the result every year.

“I try not to let it rule my life, but the fear of cancer can creep into all areas of your life.”

DCCF gives grants to help local families which are struggling to cope financially because of cancer.

Grants are used to pay for everything from transport to and from hospital, to childcare, household bills and counselling.

Monika continued: “After my own scare, I felt so grateful to be alive and I wanted to do something good to help people, especially people here in Dorset, which has become my home since leaving Poland.

“I learned of the work of DCCF through the Dorset-based nutritionist Barbara Cox, and in 2019 I held a ticketed charity fashion event at my boutique to showcase my one-off outfits from designers in Poland, Paris and Italy.

“The event was very successful and well supported and this year I will hold other ticketed events and hopefully raise some money for the work of DCCF, which I know will go straight to local families here in Dorset who are facing the fear and stress of cancer.”

Monika was shocked and honoured when Moni Boutique was approached to take part in the national One Size Fits All tour by the fashion icon Gok Wan, last year.

She explained: “Gok was giving essential tips on body confidence and clothing styles, whilst also promoting small, local businesses like mine.

“I was thrilled to be able to meet him and submit some of my outfits to be showcased on the catwalk at his event in Southampton.

“I learned so much from him and remain in touch.

“I would love to get him involved in some of my fundraising for DCCF if he is in Dorset again this year.”

Tickets are currently available for the DCCF Roaring Twenties Ball at the Hilton Hotel Bournemouth on Saturday June 20. Tickets cost £75pp or a table of 10 is £70pp. Contact:

For more information on how to apply for help from DCCF, on how to fundraise for the charity, or to join in one of its events in 2020 please click here.