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Getting a date with supermodel Sophie might be easier than you think

PUBLISHED: 19:28 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 September 2010

Lisa Connell

Lisa Connell

Copyright 2005

By Tan Parsons Inspirational fundraiser persuades Sophie Anderton to put herself up for auction on charity website INSPIRATIONAL former Camden schoolgirl who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour has enlisted supermodel Sophie Anderton and a h

By Tan Parsons

Inspirational fundraiser

persuades Sophie Anderton to put herself up for auction on charity website

INSPIRATIONAL former Camden schoolgirl who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour has enlisted supermodel Sophie Anderton and a host of other stunning singletons to help her fundraising efforts.

Lisa Connell found out she had a tumour when she returned from travelling in Thailand last August and was warned she could have just weeks to live.

But a year on, instead of taking it easy, the former Camden School for Girls and Rhyl Street primary school pupil has set up the website rentadateforcharity.com, which will raise money for Brain Tumour UK.

The 28-year-old said: "I just sat up in bed one Saturday at 1am and had this idea. I always get emails from people asking me to go on dates, and to be honest some of them are just idiots so I don't accept. But then I thought, actually, I would be happy to go on a date with someone - as long as it raises money for charity.

"I sat up the rest of the night building a MySpace page dedicated to a site where people can bid for a date, and by the end of Sunday my page had already had 300 hits."

The site is now capturing the public imagination and supermodel Sophie Anderton and star of Big Brother Seven Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace have both signed up to be auctioned off for a date with the highest bidder.

Ms Connell and a host of her friends have also put their profiles on the site to boost the bid.

Money raised will go towards helping the 13,000 people who are diagnosed with brain tumours in the UK every year.

Although Ms Connell's tumour is not malignant, it affects her vision and balance and initially stopped her from walking, as well as causing her to suffer from headaches and fatigue.

She said: "The worst thing is seeing how it affects my family. I'm just oblivious to it all but for them the reality is harder to deal with. My dad's a very strong guy and to see him crying is incredibly hard."

After finding out she was ill Ms Connell lost the ability to walk and had to teach herself all over again through a gruelling month spent in the gym.

Her mobility improved enough for her to take part in a 10km run which she completed in 1hr 15mins, raising £3,000 in the process.

She added: "I was told by the NHS that the best thing I could do was to stay at home, relax and avoid stress as much as possible. If I'd followed their advice I wouldn't be doing this today - in fact I probably wouldn't even be walking."

Ms Connell is looking for a sponsor to help launch the site - for more information email lisaconnell@talktalk.net or visit www.rentadateforcharity.com

tan.parson@hamhigh.co.uk

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