It was a celebration of survival at Norwalk Hospital's Annual Breast Cancer Survivor Fashion Show on Thursday evening at Darien Sport Shop.
Zarek Mena, Certified Patient Navigator & Patient Svcs Coordinator at The Smilow Family Breast Health Center said, “It’s to celebrate them and that really is the focus. Having events like today where we are bringing awareness. Awareness is really the key. We really want to find these cancers early when they’re treatable and curable.”
13 survivors hit the pink carpet, sharing their breast cancer stories along the way.
Melissa Lawrence said, “I’m a one year Breast Cancer survivor and I’m a young Breast Cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at the age of 37 and so I think it’s important to get the word out to young women that, unfortunately it can effect us and sometimes I think it’s harder to be diagnosed when you’re younger. I kind of feel like I have to be an advocate for my friends and women of my age group.”
Rosemary Dixon, another model and survivor said, “I was diagnosed in 2011 and I have finished all my chemo and my surgery and my radiation and it’s something. God blessed me with life and now it’s time to celebrate.”
Each model's story of survival proved the importance of getting a mammogram and early detection.
Betsy Wacker, another model and survivor said, “It’s a way of honoring women, the need for women to check themselves to be healthy. It was a way of being part of something bigger than me. I’m just one more woman who has had Breast Cancer, but what’s really interesting is the national statistics are 1 out of 8 but in Fairfield county and Long Island, 1 out of 4.”
Barbara Evans, a 73-year-old survivor said, “The Smilow Cancer Center is the best thing that has happened to me. Not only because I had Breast Cancer, but I had the chance to meet the most wonderful people in the world and the cancer care there is superb.”
While the disease is a difficult experience, Norwalk Hospital and the survivors made it aware that there is life after breast cancer.
“Now that I have 3 months behind me, to be part of this but in such a happy, upbeat way. And to see so much pink, which I just love, and to meet those other 12 women who I never met during treatment, and they are all just fabulous, neat, interesting and confident women. That’s just a gift that I gave to myself,” said Wacker.
“Really is quite amazing that living means not having to be scared and have to go through chemotherapy and radiation and fight that fight. It means going home and going grocery shopping and putting on your sneakers and going for a run. We’re really very proud of our women here and we really wanted to honor them and really just continue to show that, yes it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we should be getting our mammograms, we should be getting out there, but we should be empowering each other. We should be empowering the women and the generations to come.,” added Mena.