A woman from New Malden is tackling her anxiety through competing in pageants to raise awareness for bone cancer.

Emma Trollen chose this platform after losing her mum to bone cancer in October 2023.

The 24-year-old has had “amazing” support from her family who, at first, didn’t understand what pageants are all about.

She said: “Everyone has a platform they’re raising awareness for so I decided to do Bone Cancer awareness and research because there isn’t much awareness into it and that’s the type of cancer my mum had and she passed away from.

Your Local Guardian: Emma TrollenEmma Trollen (Image: Emma Trollen)

“I think had she known more she probably could have been diagnosed earlier on. With a lot of other types of cancer, like breast cancer, people know the symptoms to look out for.

“Whereas my mum had a pain in her shoulder for about six months and just thought she was getting old, and it was a pain in her shoulder.

“Then she was walking the dog, and the dog pulled the lead and her arm just snapped in two.

“It turned out she’d had this cancer growing on her bone for so long but didn’t know it was a thing she should have got checked out, she didn’t know it existed really.”

Emma’s aim is to raise awareness, feeling that it could save a person’s life to know what the symptoms of bone cancer are.

Your Local Guardian: Emma TrollenEmma Trollen (Image: Emma Trollen)

She first competed in the Miss London pageant last year after her boyfriend, who competed in pageants as a teenager, suggested it.

He thought it would help Emma’s self-confidence which was knocked after her mum received her cancer diagnosis.

Emma “felt like the world was ending”, and at first dismissed the idea of taking part in pageants.

But, after researching it she discovered that “there’s so much more that goes into it than just walking across a stage and looking pretty”.

She added: “Through doing it, I realised how much it is about raising awareness for a platform of your choice and at the time with my mum going through cancer, the pageant I’m doing you raise money for Cancer Research UK as well.

“That helps so much because I already wanted to do a fundraiser of some type but didn’t know what to do so that’s like two in one basically.

“Last year I really enjoyed it so when it came round to doing it again this year it was a no-brainer really.

Your Local Guardian: Emma TrollenEmma Trollen (Image: Emma Trollen)

“I work quite closely with a charity called Bone Cancer Research and all their money goes straight to just bone cancer research, because Cancer Research UK is an amazing charity but less than one per cent of what they earn for the year goes towards bone cancer research.

“But Bone Cancer research has so much information on the symptoms and the different types – it can affect you at any age as well.

“I’ve heard of four-year-olds and elderly people having it.”

On July 26, Emma will take to the Miss London stage where the winner will have direct entry to the Miss Great Britain pageant.

In order to fundraise ahead of the pageant, Emma has walked on fire and held a charity football event, raising over £1,000 in total.

Your Local Guardian: Emma TrollenEmma Trollen (Image: Emma Trollen)

While last year, she only decided to participate in Miss London a few months before the pageant, the Shrek’s World of Adventures actress has had much more time to prepare this year.

She said: “ We had a rehearsal last night and it was so much fun meeting the other girls because everyone’s there for a reason and it’s really nice to hear everyone’s stories and what they’re trying to raise awareness for.

“Everyone’s really nice and supportive, not like the stereotype where you think people are going to be quite mean and trying to sabotage each other – it’s nothing like that at all.

“If you’re needing a safety pin or a hair tie everyone’s like ‘I’ve got one, here you go’ everyone just wants to see each other succeed.”