The Pink Runway Fashion Show

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By Dora Yrigoyen / Managing Editor , Ana Contreras / Staff Writer

Pink swan (Jasmeet Singh / Photo Editor )

By Dora Yrigoyen / Managing Editor , Ana Contreras / Staff Writer

With gift bags handed out, hors d’œuvre’s served, guest’s seated and the music cued, the show began.

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Pink Runway Fashion show, hosted by the Loma Linda University, Department of Plastic Surgery; an event that not only celebrates women’s beauty and fashion but the survival of breast cancer patients.

In an effort to raise awareness and honor patients, the Department of Plastic Surgery strutted its way down to the Riverside Convention Center on Sept. 25 and showcased its very own breast reconstruction patients as models on the runway.

“We’re just very happy to be a part of something so wonderful, and we like that everybody would come and participate,” Loma Linda Representative, Vinny Ortega said. “We want to make it more known so we can  have a bigger event next year to show them more support.”

Before the show guests had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Susan G. Komen and Mentor; a company that provides products used in breast reconstructive surgery.

Then the moment guests were waiting for came. The fashion show started, featuring videos made by the models telling their stories of survival, as well as live performances from Tina Sugandh and Carrie Lee Riggins.

The models walked, danced and laughed down the runway in outfits provided by Macy’s in San Bernardino.

Model Dora Alviter, who found out she had breast cancer six years ago and four years later was attacked by the disease even harder than before, said she is grateful to the Department of Plastic Surgery for putting on the show for her and her fellow models.

“The people who created this for us are just amazing because it makes us feel that it’s worth it to keep fighting for life,” Alviter said.

Fellow Pink runway model, Vicki Desouza said she is very fortunate for mammograms and their ability to detect cancer early.

Desouza was first diagnosed with breast cancer on her left breast when she was 36 years old. She had radiation on her left breast only to later find out that the cancer had spread to her right.

“For me this was all good because it changes your outlook on life,” Desouza said. “It forces you to look at things differently.”

The Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery, Subhas Gupta, encouraged everyone at the event to help spread the word of breast reconstructive surgery and bring awareness of breast cancer to the community.

“The most important thing we’re trying to support is breast cancer awareness,” Gupta said. “Reconstruction is available and it’s something that makes women return to their sense of wholeness.”

 In the 1990’s, a bill was passed that made it mandatory that all patients who have had breast cancer and have undergone a mastectomy or partial mastectomy be covered for reconstructive surgery, so Gupta encourages women to ask their doctors about opportunities for breast reconstruction.


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