Fashion show celebrates life

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

They called it a fashion show, but it was actually a celebration. A celebration of life.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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In recognition, members of the Dallas County Core Working Group, Community Health Advisor Action Program and Deep South Network for Cancer Control organizes an annual Breast Cancer Survivor Fashion Show.

This year’s event, “All Wrapped Up and Tangled in Pink,” was held at Wallace Community College-Selma on Wednesday.

“Each year, we try to showcase our cancer survivors,” Judith Hardy Donaldson, Dallas County outreach coordinator, said.

The models, all cancer survivors, wore their own attire, which reflected their own style. After Commentator Jeanie W. Ward, community health advisor, described each of the model’s outfits, she announced how many years the model has been a survivor.

Altogether, their survival years totaled over 133.

& Geneva Carter – 16 years

& Erdine Jones – 47 years

& Rosa Lee Jiles – 3 years, 9 months

& Barbara Jones – 7 years

& Sarah Beaver – 7 years

& Della Williams – 9 years

& Linda Campbell – 3 years

& Minister Nan Brown Curtis – 9 years

& Verta Brooks – 9 years, 9 months

& Gloria McGhee – 5 years

& Linda Lowery – 17 years

“Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” Dr. Theresa Wynn, UAB project director, said. “Early detection is the best protection.”

The room was filled with supporters – family members, friends and pastors. The tables were covered in pink cloths and event coordinators wore pink tops and black pants and skirts.

To add to the liveliness of the evening, door prizes were given away. The first two prizes went to the Rev. Booker T. Booker Jr., pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church, on Buckeye Avenue, and to the Rev. J.R. Curry, pastor of Elyton Baptist Church in Plantersville.

The fun didn’t stop there. Everyone in the room participated in the “Let’s Step for Health” portion of the program. The “Cupid Shuffle” got the room jumping. The crowd was dancing, smiling and laughing.

“We got some steps in and our hearts (pumping),” Teresa Sears, Dallas County coordinator for CHAPP and Deep South Network, said. “They say laughter is good for the soul and we had a lot of laughter in here.”

Ward went a step further.

“It’s a celebration of life,” Ward said, “As these survivors live, others will live.”

McGhee inspired the crowd when she recited the poem, “I Am.”

The encouraging poem, in part:

“I can have what God wants me to have.

I can do what God says I can do.

I’m not bound, I’m free.

I am healed because God says I am.

I’m not defeated, because I am more than a conqueror.”