Inner Beauty Salon Helps Cancer Survivors Shine on the Runway
Lights, music, hair, makeup, strength, courage and hope. Omaha Fashion Week’s eighth annual Methodist Cancer Survivor Show at the Omaha Design Center featured 130 survivors, each with a unique story.
Feeling beautiful despite an ugly disease
Penny Fox of Sioux City is an ovarian cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in January 2017 after dealing with abdominal pain that wouldn’t go away. She underwent chemotherapy and surgery, and her results looked promising … until she was told she would need more chemo.
“Losing my hair was hard,” she said. “Losing it again after my recurrence was even harder. It was like losing a piece of me all over again.”
But the Inner Beauty Salon at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center gave that piece of her back.
“I called Inner Beauty, and they took me in,” Penny said. “They shaved all my hair for me and helped me with makeup. They made me feel beautiful.”
A show that started with a dream
Penny has walked for Methodist twice on the runway, and she is proud to be part of a show that all started with a dream.
“This is something I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Lori Fuchs, CMF, coordinator of the Inner Beauty Salon.
Fuchs was approached by Nick Hudson with the Omaha Design Center. She recalls him expressing interest in her efforts at Inner Beauty and proposing a partnership.
“I want a fashion show,” she told him. “I want cancer survivors of all sizes, all ages and all types of cancer.”
She then met with Nick’s wife, Brook Hudson, producer of Omaha Fashion Week.
“That was it,” Fuchs said. “And here we are, eight years later.”
“When you’re walking down that runway, you feel empowered,” Penny said. “You feel hopeful, you feel loved, and you feel beautiful. It’s just a great event.”
“Some of these survivors are still going through treatment,” Fuchs explained. “Some of them come straight here from chemotherapy, some of them are on treatment for the rest of their lives. But they’re walking that runway in a victorious way, saying, ‘Hey, I am a survivor.’”
Methodist Cancer Survivor Show facts and figures
The 2018 Methodist Cancer Survivor Show has been awarded “Best Event Over 500” for Metro Magazine’s The BIG Event Awards Celebration & Extravaganza.
Members of Xenon Academy and Surface Hair helped with the hair and makeup of survivors (ages 3 - 81) for the sold-out 2019 show. Half of the night’s ticket sales go back to Inner Beauty, helping survivors who can’t afford hair, skin and nail services feel beautiful.
“Cancer shouldn’t have to be something you see when you look in the mirror,” Fuchs added.