WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Seven breast cancer patients and survivors displayed both their resiliency and some trendy clothing Saturday at the "Walk of Hope" fashion show at The Westchester in White Plains on Saturday afternoon.
Each of the women who participated is from the Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital. Survivors Roberta Graham, Crystal Radcliff, Jeanne Chamas, Patricia Coleman, Maureen Coleman, Francine Jackel, Leslie Farucci and Lori Terranova each strutted out before a cheering crowd as they showed off various dresses, tops, pants shows and accessories. All the fashion was provided by the Lilly Pulitzer store located in the Westchester.
Radcliff was diagnosed with breast cancer just this past March, and immediately had to go into chemotherapy treatment.
"At first, it's very scary. You ask questions like, 'Why me?' But with the support and love of everybody around me, I was able to make it through," she said.
She is also thankful to blood donors, whose blood and platelets were crucial in her treatment. She said was a little nervous at first about strutting the walkway, but as a member of the National Guard, she was able to summon the courage. Her favorite outfit was the second one she modeled, a pink dress.
"I've never worn pink before, but I saw this dress and thought it was so beautiful, and of course the color represents so many things."
Graham was first diagnosed in 1974, had her first masectomy that year and underwent two years of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. She had a second masectomy in 1996.
"I wanted to do this event because I wanted people to see a survivor. After I went through everything, they can see that you can still have something to look forward to," she said. Times have changed a lot since she was first diagnosed. There was not as much awareness about breast cancer, women did not have as many treatment options and technology was not as advanced. "Things have gotten much better."
"They looked amazing," said Thelma Picado, the manager of Lilly Pulitzer. A percentage of sales from the store will be going to breast cancer research. "These women are absolutely incredible. After everything they've been through, they are so inspirational."
"This event is so important, because one in every eight women are diagnosed with cancer," said Dawn French, vice president of marketing and communications at White Plains Hospital. "But these women prove that you can survive and thrive after a breast cancer diagnosis."