Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Something Totally Different

If I asked anyone who knows me to use 10 adjectives to describe me, I am not sure what words they would select. But I am certain that these words would not be included: stylish, fashionable, hip, chic, or trendy. I am comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt, or running shorts, running shoes, and a dry-fit running shirt – with my TNT racing cap, of course. Maybe a pair of hiking boots, with hiking pants, a dry-fit hiking shirt, and my Tilly hat would fit the bill in the right circumstances. But fashionable? Stylish? Hip? Nope, not even remotely me.

So that is why my participation as a model in a fashion show in a few weeks is so far out of my comfort zone. But this is not just any fashion show – it is “Cure by Design”, and the cause is to raise money for the American Cancer Society. And every one of the models – some 45 or so of us – is a cancer survivor.

My friend, teammate, and fellow survivor Nicki was in this last year and told me it was a lot of fun. So after thinking about it for a week or so, I decided why not? It is for a good cause, and will be something totally different for me. I volunteered, and was chosen as a model. I will be modeling a very stylish thong! Ha, ha – just kidding about that. The goal of this show is to bring in paying spectators, not drive them away screaming in horror! ;)

Anyhow, we had our introductory meeting tonight at the ACS building, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I actually have to go for a fitting in a couple of weeks, then on the 14th of August we will all be spending the afternoon practicing walking down the runway as models, and getting dressed for the show, which will then go on all evening.

It felt amazing to look around this room and realize that all of the participants are cancer survivors. Most of us looked pretty good, I must say, given what we went through. There were kids, young men and women, and people older than me. The organizer told us that some of the models are 20 year survivors, and others just got diagnosed two months ago. I chatted with a few of them and heard some amazing stories. A young woman who survived ovarian, uterine, and liver cancer all in her 20’s, and went on to have two children. A 19 year old who had chronic myelogenous leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant – from her sister – last August, and a woman of about 50 something who had the same thing 7 years ago. A 17 year old girl who had kidney and lung cancer at age 5. A breast cancer survivor. A prostate cancer survivor who joked with a pretty young woman about going out for a drink after his fitting – “It was a joke, I had prostate cancer and can’t do anything!” A fellow Hodgkin lymphoma survivor who like me, does First Connection for LLS, and unlike me, still suffers from "chemo brain".

I’ll blog again about this after the show on the 14th, but I really think that this will be fun. And different. And although I am never going to be a stylish person – it is just not me – I will be for one evening!


Nicki said...

Glad you enjoyed the meeting! You will be a terrific model! And you will have SO much fun!

Elayne said...

We have to see pictures Art! I was asked to participate in the same type of event after my first diagnosis. I, like you are more comfortable in my running clothes than anything else. So... I hesitated, said yes and then chickened out! Never did it but now kind of wish I did.

Have fun!!!

Racn4acure said...

Thanks for suggesting it Nicki. I think it will be a blast, and so different.

Elayne - you need to try again. I will let you know how it goes.