We are exactly one week away until our Methodist Survivor Showcase. This showcase is always something special. 80 cancer survivors will take over the runway wearing looks from local boutiques.
We had a chance to talk to Lori Fuchs, the founder of Inner Beauty, a specialty salon for cancer survivors at the Methodist Eastbrook Cancer Center. Fuchs is a clinical cosmetologist and a board certified mastectomy fitter. Inner Beauty helps patients by educating them on what to expect with hair loss and the possible side effects that may occur with the chemotherapy concerting the hair, skin and nails. They do a lot of the things other salons do, but in a clinical private environment. “Our hearts desire is to make their journey a bit easier by helping them maintain a sense of ‘self’ and ‘confidence’ while undergoing chemotherapy treatment and post-surgery mastectomies for Breast cancer. We want to encourage, edify and build these survivors up and to encourage them in their survivorship journey after going through treatment,” Fuchs tells us.
Fuchs assists in coordinating Omaha Fashion Week’s Survivor Show. “The OFW survivor show gives these amazing people a chance to bear silent witness to their journeys. For many it changes their lives because it is so out of their comfort zone. The runway has the beautiful ability to make the meekest bold and beautiful. This event has changed so many lives,” she explains.
This event truly has transformed many lives. The testimony below is one example.
“I had never been to Omaha Fashion Week &, to be honest, didn’t know Omaha even had a Fashion Week. Last February, I was at a follow up visit with my surgical oncologist. Dr. Reilly & Kathryn checked the incisions left from a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and tested the range of motion in my arms. Chemotherapy would be starting soon & I was anxious to say the least. The Social Worker came in to check in on me & see what she could do to help alleviate the anxiety. She asked me if I was interested in going to the Cancer Survivor Show at Omaha Fashion Week. I couldn’t have been less interested at the time but agreed to take two tickets at the urging of my boyfriend, Ryan. He said we could use a fun night out. I had my port placed the following Monday & headed downtown to Fashion Week for a night out on Tuesday. Still sore & not yet given the green light to shower, I felt the complete opposite of how fabulous you’re supposed to look at a fashion show. There were so many familiar faces when we first walked in the door; the same faces I’ve seen in the Estabrook Cancer Center all there to celebrate with the survivors. When the show started, I can’t describe the joy it brought to Ryan & me. We saw these women & men that were carefree, comfortable, & confident in their skin; all of them smiling, laughing, & waving at loved ones in the crowd. As someone just beginning their cancer treatment journey & starting chemotherapy two days later, it gave me hope that I would get there someday as well. At this year’s show, I was. I enjoyed trying on different outfits, getting my makeup & hair done, & learning how to walk the catwalk. Standing backstage waiting to walk down the runway, I felt like my legs were wet noodles but as soon as I hit the runway, I was in heaven! Over the course of the last year, I had a lot of love and attention, but this time without being sick, weak, or helpless. I was carefree, comfortable, & confident. My family & friends had a blast watching not only me but all of the survivors. The show is so empowering for those of us who have experienced such a great loss & shows you that you’re not alone.
My best memory of the 2014 Survivor show was meeting Leah. Leah & I arrived for practice at the same time & were lined up next to each other backstage. We had the usual cancer conversation: what kind?, who’s your doctor?, where are you being treated? As we continued to talk, Leah came to realize she had my wig. I had donated my wig & head coverings to Inner Beauty just a few months back & was hopeful that someone would get use of them. I never thought I would meet that person. It brought tears to my eyes as I knew how much “Georgia” (Leah has since named the wig “Kimye” ) protected me all those months.”
We are extremely excited to see these survivors take on the runway next week. We hope you come out to join us for a night celebrating life and strength. Tickets are available here. See you there!