The models will strut, twirl, and share their triumphant stories at the Cancer Survivors Fashion Show, which Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will host on Aug. 25 from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News.
Massage therapists will also be on hand to provide various types of massages that will soothe muscles, ease anxiety, reduce stress, and increase reflexes. Deitra Tate of WAVY-TV will be the mistress of ceremony. Tickets to the fashion show cost $10.
“People should come to the fashion show because everyone is affected by this deadly disease,” said Debra J. Carroll, who has served as president of the Alpha Beta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority for the past year.
The models have good reason to strut, whirl, twirl, and share their survival stories since a 2017 study by the American Cancer Society showed that the number of women who died from breast cancer dropped nationwide by about 40 percent during the past 25 years. This means more than 322,000 women have survived breast cancer since 1989.
Here are more facts from the 2017 report. Black women who received a breast cancer diagnosis saw a 2 percent drop from 2010 to 2014. Black women typically receive a breast cancer diagnosis at age 59 and are more likely to die at the average age of 62.
Increasingly the disparity gap is closing in several states because of improvements in treatment, early detection, and increased access to health care, especially for women living in low-income populations, the report noted. “This means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Carol DeSantis, lead author of the report and director of Breast and Gynecological Cancer Surveillance for the American Cancer Society.
In short, cancer is an important topic to many, said Carroll, who became a Zeta in college and has been a member of the local chapter since 2009, “Whether it is you personally, a co-worker, or relative, our goal is to bring awareness. There is treatment if it is caught early enough. So you should come to the fashion show to become more aware and to have fun fellowshipping. Anyone who has tested positive for breast cancer can expect a presentation on breast cancer awareness, plus the models will share a little of their stories with the audience. All of the models are breast cancer survivors.”
Cancer awareness has long been a national initiative for Zeta Phi Beta Inc., which was founded in 1920 at Howard University. Through the years, the Alpha Beta Zeta Chapter has sponsored numerous cancer related events including Massage-a-thons, wellness walks, websites, and online donation events. Proceeds, which go to the American Cancer Society, have increased over the years, Carroll said.
About 15 members worked for several months to prepare the upcoming fashion show. Specifically, the fashion show was planned by a Zeta committee called Z-HOPE (Zeta Helping Other People Excel).
Carroll said, “Katrina Foster, (the second vice president) is the chairperson of Z HOPE. They have worked for six months on this idea. They meet at restaurants, normally where we can have refreshments. Sometimes the committee uses conference calls or we meet at each other’s homes.”
While Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital is sponsoring the fashion show, the sorority is still seeking sponsors, according to its website. For example, you can donate to the event by purchasing a wig for a cancer survivor. You can contribute to the silent auction, donate items for the luncheon, or provide make-up services for the models.
For more information, please go to https://www.alphabetazeta1920.