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The Methodist Survivor Show: An Event That Highlights What Cancer Is Not

Cancer Care
Published: Feb. 28, 2020


Cancer is cruel. It’s unfair. It’s inconvenient. It’s relentless, sad and unforgiving.

Nobody knows these things better than the Methodist leaders, providers and caregivers who see the disease staring back at them every day. But every year, many of them come together for Omaha Fashion Week's Methodist Survivor Show to celebrate what cancer is not:

It’s not one’s identity. And it’s not a life sentence.

“I love this event because it showcases patients who are living their lives and thriving after sometimes very complicated cancer therapy. Survivorship is very important to me, and this is one avenue where it not only helps the patient feel great about themselves but also removes the stigma about what life is like after cancer treatment.”

– Andrew Coughlin, MD, head and neck surgical oncologist


 

It’s certainly not biased, but it sure seems to favor the strong.
 

“Providers get to support their patients’ accomplishments as they strut their stuff on the runway. This event allows patients the opportunity to enjoy a fancy, fun night out after their worlds have been turned upside down by cancer treatment.”

Kathryn Simone, APRN, Breast Care Center

 

It’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s not just one disease.

“This event brings all ages – men, women, teens and children – together that are dealing with or have dealt with all types of cancer. We’re here to cheer on everyone!”

Lori Fuchs, CMF, Inner Beauty Salon coordinator

 

While it may be ugly, it’s not capable of masking inner beauty.  

“I love seeing the survivors walk the runway! They have been through so much with their cancer treatment. It’s nice to see them have a chance to be pampered, feel beautiful and shine in the spotlight. I like to be there in support so they know I care about them on a professional and personal level.”

Katie Honz, MD, plastic surgeon
 
“The event means so much to me because it’s our opportunity to support and celebrate so many individuals that have been fighting cancer. It’s wonderful to see the survivors be supported by family and friends and to be so beautifully dressed. Their confidence and accomplishments serve as inspiration for all of us who care for them.”

Josie Abboud, president and CEO of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital
 

All of these things that cancer is not – they couldn’t have been more apparent at the ninth annual event showcasing 130 models, ages 2 to 74. Together they flaunted fashion, courage and their best accessory of all: survivorship.

Representatives of Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center got a front-row seat to it all. They laughed, they cried, and they witnessed their patients confidently walk a runway – not just as cancer survivors, but as the fierce, brave and inspiring people they are. And that was therapy to those who care for them.

Because of all the things that cancer is not, it’s most definitely not one person’s disease. It affects all who love, treat and support those battling all that cancer is.
 

“Within a span of 10 days, my husband, Ted, was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia (APL) and my sister-in-law, Amy, with stage four colon cancer. While I have understood the difficult physical effects of the treatment journey for our patients, I now fully understand the grind of treatments and the incredible emotional toll of the journey. Winning the fight is a very personal thing – for the patient and for those who love them.”

Julie Murray, MA, vice president of professional and ancillary services for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital
 
“This event literally fills me up emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s such an awesome event to honor and cheer on our patients with difficult cancer diagnoses and journeys.”

Heather Hagewood, BSN, RN, OCN, surgical oncology nurse navigator

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Jessica Gill

About the Author:

Jessica Gill, a Content Strategist for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

See More Articles by Jessica Gill