A DUNFERMLINE teacher is another step closer to the Miss Pin-up UK crown – thanks to the power of the Press!

Yvonne Kavanagh, 33, of Redwing Wynd in Duloch, is through to the quarter-finals of the competition and says the Press helped push up her votes.

Last month, we brought you the story of Yvonne, who was diagnosed with Cushing's disease aged 17 and who's undergone 20 operations due to the illness.

The rare disease, which affects around 10 to 15 people per million, is caused by a tumour or excess growth of the pituitary gland and can lead to impaired immunological function, high blood pressure, thin skin and recurrent infection.

Yvonne gained weight and was forced to use a wheelchair and the illness left her badly scarred from her shoulders to her toes, knocking her self-confidence and self-esteem.

The drama, dance and sign language teacher was given the all-clear in January after 16 years and decided to enter Miss Pin-up UK to raise awareness of living with a disability and also show that “you don't have to have a certain look, dress a certain way or be a certain size”.

After making it through to the quarter-finals, she beamed: “There was a big spike in my votes after the Press story came out. It helped so much.

“People were messaging me saying they had seen the story. My friend saw people reading the article and actually voting for me.

“I even had a couple of people asking me about it and saying it was really inspirational that I was doing this.

“It's a very lonely disease and I want people to know they're not alone – because Cushing's is quite rare, there's no support unit for it and this is a way of raising awareness.

“If it hadn't been for the Press, I don't know if I would have got so many votes. I just wanted to say thank you so much for the support. I really hope to make it right to the end!”

Yvonne, who's been a pin-up model for about 10 years, is now awaiting confirmation of the date and place for her quarter-final, where she plans to sing.

She laughed: “I've just hurt my knee so dancing is out! But I'm a trained professional singer – I've won numerous competitions and done work for charity – and I'll be bringing a bit of burlesque into it as well.”