Walk This Way- Cancer Survivors Strike a Pose on the Runway

On the first Sunday of June, hundreds of communities across the country, across the globe and around the corner celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day ®. The significant day was a celebration for those who have survived the disease, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a support system for families and loved ones, and an outreach to the community all in an effort to honor survivors and to pass the message to the world that there is life after a cancer diagnosis. 

The day also encouraged survivors to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have helped them through the process. The Memorial Cancer Institute and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital was sure to celebrate just the same. However, they didn’t have just any celebration. With the help of Macy’s, the renowned Hollywood facility presented a fashion show. 

The show featured current cancer patients and survivors as runway models as part of Memorial’s comprehensive survivorship program, which supports patients at all stages of the recovery process. Research has shown that patients who have a support system have better outcomes than those primarily battling on their own. The anticipated event was an opportunity for the community to see that it has an active, productive cancer survivor population. It also was an opportunity to bring awareness of the challenges and tribulations these survivors face during and after treatment. 

Cancer patients and survivors younger than two-years-old and as old as seventy-nine-year-old took an emotional stroll down the runway wearing clothing provided by the popular department store as they were escorted by those most important to them during their medical journey. These escorts were the very proud parents, doctors, nurses, family, and friends who were critical contributors to their treatment accomplishments and fight against the deadly disease.

“This was a special opportunity to empower our adult and pediatric cancer patients at an event that celebrated treatment milestones, survivorship, and the lives of those that have been touched by our Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital programs. We treat the whole person, not just the disease, and provide support from diagnosis to remission,” explained Vedner Guerrier, vice president of oncology services, Memorial Cancer Institute.