Harvesting Hope – in style; C-tH fashn show benefits new cancer center
Twenty-four cancer survivors modeled clothing during the third-annual Harvesting Hope cancer center benefit and fashion show Sunday at the Carson Nugget.
The event, organized by the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Foundation, is a fund-raiser for the regional medical center being built at the north end of Carson City.
“Every single one of these models has looked death straight in the face,” said Pam Graber, executive director of the hospital foundation. “They’ve been through hell: radiation, surgeries – some of them have had three types of cancer.”
Model Dr. Bill King, who was diagnosed with cancer twice in two years, remains optimistic. At the end of the show, when the survivors walked with a caregiver, he was accompanied by his wife, Christine.
Five-year-old Christopher Lawrence walked with his mom, Kathi.
Christopher was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 1 year. After years of radiation treatment, he’s been off chemotherapy for a year.
The smiling blonde boy said his favorite part of the event was walking on the stage. Why?
“Just because,” he shrugged, and went back to making motor noises.
“He’s become such a character,” said his mom. “He never would have (walked on stage) a year ago -he would have been too terrified. Watching his personality emerge has just been wonderful.”
Christopher attends pre-kindergarten classes at Fremont Elementary.
Another young man who brought his parents on stage was Brian Anderson, a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, who is in remission from lymphoma. Wearing black leather provided by Harley-Davidson, he waited for his next stroll down the catwalk.
“There’s like 1.3 million people that get diagnosed with cancer in America every year so, yeah, it’s good to have stuff like this to help them. Because one day, you’re healthy, and the next … ” he snapped his fingers. “That’s how it was for me, anyway.”
Clothing for the show was also loaned by Corral West Ranchwear, J.C. Penney, Sasha’s City Boutique and Valley Chic Boutique.
When Western wear model Paula Corley lassoed Wally Bennett on stage, Graber laughed out loud.
Cancer survivor Tom Baker, whose wife of 36 years died of cancer last year, walked tall in a big, black cowboy hat. He won a sushi dinner during the raffle.
“It’s a beautiful day,” he said back stage.
Survivor Patricia Bryan said cancer changed her life.
“I feel like I have a new life -like I was one person before and another person after,” she said. Bryan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, walked with her daughter Michelle.
“It just makes you look at life differently. You have to., ” Bryan said.
The fashion show coordinators were Beverly Willard and Betty Hegarty. Music was provided free of charge by the Craig Fletcher Band.
Organizers could not say how much was raised at this year’s fund-raiser, but last year, it raised about $20,000.
Graber said the hospital close to seeing an artist’s rendering and floor plan of the new $12 million cancer center.