Inside the fashion show that gave breast cancer survivors a place to feel beautiful

The lovely breast cancer survivors, thrivers and caregivers who walked in Sunday’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fashion show at Macy’s at the Town Center at Boca Raton mall.

If you were looking for a way to close out Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you couldn’t have found a better celebration than the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fashion show on Sunday, Oct. 30, at Macy’s at Town Center at Boca Raton.

With about two dozen friends and family members in the audience, the runway was walked by breast cancer survivors, thrivers and caregivers who shared their incredible stories while raising money for the American Cancer Society.

“What an amazing way to cap off an exciting Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Lindsay Bennett, Senior Development Manager for ACS. Lindsay organized the fashion show with the help of the talented personal stylists at Macy’s. “Showcasing some of our beautiful survivors and thrivers, letting them strut their stuff and filling all of our hearts with love and positive energy, I just couldn’t have asked for more.”

The American Cancer Society and it’s mission are near and dear to my heart, so you’re going to see a lot on my blog about two of their key fundraisers: Making Strides, and Relay for Life. My sister Candice Webb is a former chair for Relay for Life of Palm Beach County, and Lindsay and Angie Kipp of Making Strides are like sisters to me.

We have stood and cried together as our family members have been diagnosed with cancer over the years. In 2012, my father died from squamous cell carcinoma, and Lindsay and Angie were among the incredible support system that helped my sister, my mother and I through that horrible time. I’ve learned so much about ACS, its mission and the programs it provides since then. From Road to Recovery providing rides to treatment for cancer patients, to events like Sunday’s fashion show that help breast cancer survivors feel even just a little more glamorous, it’s an organization worth donating at least your time, if not your money.

Sunday was filled with inspirational moments. Every woman who walked the runway was a star.

Clarina Jean-Pierre is facing her second bout with breast cancer. She was diagnosed this past summer, just after her reconstructive surgery following several years cancer-free. She has two more rounds of chemo. Clarina dazzled in three outfits: a stunning red sequined outfit from INC, a glittery silver one-shoulder dress from CeCe and a gorgeous Betsy & Adam ruffled pink dress.

Clarina in INC.
Clarina and Lindsay closing out the show together. Lindsay is wearing a Nina Parker button-front jumpsuit.

One of the biggest surprises of the show was breast cancer survivor Karen Davis, who is more than eight years cancer-free. She walked the runway in Ralph Lauren tapered jeans and a Kensie bolero jacket. As she hit the end of the runway, she dropped the jacket to show the pink butterfly painted across her chest where she received a double mastectomy. The paint continued on her back with a pink heart and “2022.” Like so many women, Karen did not have reconstructive surgery. Her motto is, “You do not need breasts to be a woman. Stand tall with every step.” She did exactly that, with a powerful effect.

Karen poses after walking the runway.

In addition to getting to wear gorgeous clothes provided by Macy’s for the fashion show, the women also were able to get their makeup done by the professional makeup artists at Estee Lauder. One woman commented to me that it was the first time she’s had her makeup professionally done since completing her treatment. “It makes me feel just a little more normal, you know?” she said.

All of the women who walked in Sunday’s fashion show deserve a huge round of applause for their efforts to inspire others and show that it can be done: Dawn Forgione, Sonia Silva, Marcia Levine, Dina Legland, Shelly Breitman, Elisa Keenan, Charlenne Miranda, Angela Sampieri, Anita Mills, Adele Firestar, Vera Mccalia and Kristina Schlueter.

A big thanks also to local fashion designer Amanda Perna for serving as the show’s emcee. Amanda knows fashion — she was on two seasons of “Project Runway” and founded the Neon Bohemians and House of Perna fashion lines. Her store in downtown Delray Beach, A Little Wyld, sells women’s and children’s clothing and gift items.

Scroll down for more photos. For more information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Palm Beach County, go to

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