Breast cancer survivor Debbi O'Shea, the personal shopper at Richards since 2001, walks the runway. Photo: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich Time
Though it was unusually cool and rainy yesterday, it was pure sunshine inside the tent at the 16th annual Breast Cancer Alliance benefit luncheon and fashion show at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich.
This was the sixth year that Mitchells/Richards sponsored the fashion show and nearly 800 women were treated to a whirlwind of exciting fashion from Valentino, Brunello Cucinelli, Michael Kors, Akris, J. Mendel, Giorgio Armani, Jason Wu, Yigal Azrouel, Lela Rose and exquisite coats from the Oscar de la Renta Couture Collection.
In a word: Swoonworthy
even if I did just make it up.
In a word: Swoonworthy
This year's Guest Speaker was Cokie Roberts, whose list of accomplishments is so long it could comprise another blog. As is tradition, she is also a breast cancer survivor. The finale of the fashion show always includes survivors and often, the people who helped them achieve it. My supporter, was my friend Michele Penque. We know well in our hearts, that our dear friend Lorraine Millar, a 20 year survivor who lost her battle in 2009, was looking down on that runway with joy. I was also extremely proud of my colleagues Patricia Cinquemani and Iwona Kelly who walked the runway together. Both received breast cancer diagnosis' last year, fought hard and won. Their smiles say it all...
|Michele, Patricia and Iwona|
Over the years, the Alliance has funded a variety of cutting edge research grants and one-year post-graduate breast surgery fellowships at 25 of the nation's leading research institutions. They have also funded community outreach programs and education initiatives in nine communities in Connecticut and New York.
In a word: WOW!
What can you do to stay on top of your breast health? Know your family history (paternal history counts equally). Get annual mammograms beginning at age 40 (earlier if you are at high risk), with a manual exam by a Radiologist. If you have dense breasts, insist on a bilateral ultrasounds. Exercise often. Drink moderately. Be in touch with your breasts in the shower. If you need a biopsy, seek medical help from a Breast Specialist.
If you do ever hear the dreaded words, "You have breast cancer", I promise, you will not go it alone. Family, friends, survivors and organizations like the BCA will help see you through...