Omaha Fashion Week is a time when designers and boutiques can come together and celebrate the one thing they all have in common: fashion. Although lovers of fashion enjoy the entire week dedicated to their passions and careers, one particular night of the week brings a whole new meaning to the community of Omaha. On Feb. 27, Omaha Fashion Week cancer survivors from all types of paths were the models on the runway. These models not only graced the stage with their beauty, but also their bravery.
“It means a lot to be able to walk with my sisters in pink or any other cancer survivor. It’s really cool because we get the opportunity to do something fun instead of having all the bad things we go through with the cancer diagnosis. This is the fun side.” Cancer survivor Kacie Flaherty said.
One of the most difficult aspects with any type of cancer is the changes it has on yourself. It changes the way you feel, look at yourself, even how you view the world. According to Cancerstats.org, in 2019 roughly 1.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. Out of the 1.8 million people, at least one or more people were affected by their diagnosis. Founder of non-profit Hereditary Cancer Foundation Brandi Preston is one of the many people affected by a cancer diagnosis.
“I started my non-profit five years ago in the memory of my mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 35 and again at 38 and lost her battle when she was 40,” Preston said. “I was 14 years old and a couple days before she died, she made me promise I would risk cancer and do something about it.”
Ever since that day Preston has made it a point about being proactive in minimizing her risks. Preston had an 82% chance of being diagnosed and with the precautions she took, she lowered her chances down to less than 5%. Preston’s goal for her non-profit is to make sure no more families face the tragedy she and her family faced all those years ago.
“With the work that we are doing. We are going to help a lot of young girls,” Preston said. “Be able to have their moms with them when they pick out their wedding dress, and have their children, and those survivors are going to be here to see all of their children grow up.”
Preston was at the Methodist Survivor Walk Omaha Fashion Week put on to support the survivors that walked and to show that no matter what, they are not alone. Survivors from all different backgrounds and paths joined in the walk of Omaha Fashion Week. This was their way to show that even though this is a lifelong battle, they are still fighting.
They continue to show everyone that with support nothing can tear them down.
“It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to break, tacos break all the time and we still love them. So, you will get through the bad days, just keep pushing,” Flaherty said.
Each ticket purchased that night directly supported cancer survivors, with half of the proceeds going to the Inner Beauty Salon at Methodist Eastbrook Cancer Center.