Sept. 7 2011 12:00 AM

Cancer survivors 'walk with dignity' in fashion show

A pervasive disease that touches everyone in some way or another, cancer knows no bounds. That’s part of the reason Leaving Everlasting Memories As Time Advances uses cancer survivors of all ages in its annual fashion show.

“Celebrating Survival” shines the spotlight on over 40 cancer survivors, ranging in age from 7 to 72 years old.

The models have dealt with cancers ranging from anal and vaginal to Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, said Lucy Galvin, assistant to LEMATA president Sherly Ellis. 

This year’s show is a tribute to those who continue to “walk with dignity after being stricken with some form of cancer,”  Ellis noted in a press release.  

They are not professional models, Galvin said, “just everyday people, living with cancer.”

Along with the featured fashions by local designers, Defye, Esther’s Unique Boutique, My Sista’s, Designs by Natalia and Babycakes, there will be a silent auction. 

Galvin said musician Brian VanderArk will be on hand to entertain, and so will a Tina Turner and Michael Jackson impersonator.

The event has grown since last year and the list of those who join the ranks of models continues to grow as well, Galvin said, which is why LEMATA doesn’t use the same model more than once. 

Galvin, who serves on LEMATA’s board of directors, has been touched by cancer, having lost both her parents and her in-laws to the disease; her sister is a thyroid cancer survivor and will be one of the models in the runway event.

Galvin said Ellis, a former model, likes to do nonprofit events to “celebrate these individuals and give them a moment to shine.” 

“One of our models from last year, aged 21, just lost her battle — she fought it her whole life,” Galvin said.

The model’s mother had called Ellis last year and said the woman wanted to be part of the show.

“We were glad she had that opportunity before she passed,” Galvin said. 

Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence, Galvin added, and “we want to bring awareness to all types of cancer.”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society to support programs for cancer education and prevention.

‘Celebrating Survival’

5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, Lexington Lansing Hotel, 925 South Creyts Road, Lansing. $25 general admission; $30 VIP tickets 

Tickets are available in advance at Legacy Modeling, 3815 W. St. Joseph Highway, Suite 101, Lansing, or by calling (517) 485-9002, or visiting