Amputee becomes first model with disability to appear in Burberry

Amputee model, 19, who lost her leg to bone cancer a year after her mother died from a brain tumour is unveiled as the star of Burberry’s latest campaign

  • Iona Hay, 19, from Glasgow, had leg amputated when she was six-years-old
  • At the time, she was battling a form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma
  • Iona diagnosed with cancer one year after her mother died from a brain tumour 
  • She shot for Burberry earlier this year after signing to talent agency Zebedee
  • Images for Burberry have garnered thousands of likes from social media users  

A teenage amputee who lost her leg to bone cancer a year after her mother died from a brain tumour has been unveiled as the star of Burberry’s latest campaign.

Iona Hay, 19, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with bone cancer osteosarcoma in 2008, only one year after her mother Fiona Dolan died of a brain tumour aged just 36.

She had her leg amputated when she was six during her battle with the disease. 

Earlier this year, she shot for Burberry after signing to inclusive talent agency, Zebedee, with an image from the shoot gaining 46,000 likes on their Instagram page in one day.

Iona Hay, 19, from Glasgow, pictured, has been unveiled as the star of Burberry’s latest campaign


She hopes to become a fashion designer and has never let her amputated leg hold her back, enjoying sports and activities growing up, particularly dancing 

Iona joined Zebedee last November and is in her first year studying fashion at Edinburgh University.

She hopes to become a fashion designer and has never let her amputated leg hold her back, enjoying sports and activities growing up, particularly dancing.

The 19-year-old has already modelled for H&M, Schu, Primark and YouSwim over the last five months.

Posting about her battle with cancer last year, she wrote: ‘Nearly 11 years cancer free, I just want to say I’m proud of 5 year old me. My pain and trauma is valid.

Iona was diagnosed with cancer just one year after her own mother Fiona Dolan died of a brain tumour aged just 36 (pictured together) 

The teenager had her leg amputated when she was six during her battle with the disease, and posted last year to thank her friends and family for their support (pictured, aged six) 

The bone cancer which most commonly affects children – and which caused Iona to lose her leg  

Bone cancer can affect any bone, but most cases develop in the long bones of the legs or upper arms.

The main symptoms include:

  • persistent bone pain that gets worse over time and continues into the night
  • swelling and redness (inflammation) over a bone, which can make movement difficult if the affected bone is near a joint
  • a noticeable lump over a bone
  • a weak bone that breaks (fractures) more easily than normal
  • problems moving around – for example, walking with a limp

Osteosarcoma is the most common type, which mostly affects children and young adults under 20. 

‘Thank you to everyone who helped me through this time. One leg and a lot of treatment later and I’m grand.

‘But that is not the case for so many, please take a moment to think of those who did not make it, they too are valid. I lost a lot of my hospital friends as cancer took them from us. 

‘So can we just take a moment to say, sending lots of love to everyone to day and a massive thank you to everyone who helped me words can not describe how much I appreciate it.’

In the Burberry images, the fashion student was pictured in £490 motif sliders and a long black dress in another photo.

Her pictures appeared on Burberry’s website and Instagram, garnering thousands of likes and positive comments from fans of the luxury brand.  

The 19-year-old said: ‘The shoot was really fun and I’m very grateful for being given the opportunity, it was a great experience.

‘I think diversity in the fashion industry is very important.’

She is hoping to inspire other young amputees with her modelling journey. 

Iona’s booker, Ella Singleton-Redmond, said: ‘We’ve been blown away by Iona’s success so far. 

‘She’s been signed with the agency for less than a year and already booked with huge brands such as Burberry and H&M.

‘We’ve been told by clients Iona is a joy to have on set and so easy to work with. 

 In one the images from the Burberry shoot, the fashion student was pictured in £490 motif sliders, pictured

Iona joined Zebedee last November and is in her first year studying fashion at Edinburgh University


Iona has been signed to Zebedee since November, with her booker revealing she has ‘blown the agency away’ with her success in modelling shoots (left and right) so far 

The Scottish teenager is hoping to inspire other young amputees with her modelling journey (pictured) 

‘All of us at Zebedee can’t wait to see what the future holds!’ 

The snap on Burberry’s Instagram page was flooded with praise for the 19-year-old, with one person writing: ‘She’s so beautiful and confident.’

Meanwhile another commented: ‘Wonderful and amazing and stunning and lovely

A third added: ‘I love this!’

Social media users went wild over the snaps after they were shared on the Burberry Instagram page, with many praising Iona as ‘beautiful’ 

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