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Courageous runway: Cancer survivors, Old Navy raise money for research

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By Kelly Cantrall

After watching her friend participate in a local fashion show, Natalie Detre decided to take a spin on the catwalk this year.

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“She looked like she had so much fun doing it,” Detre said.

Detre fit right in with the other models, as they all have something in common: They all have faced cancer.

The Cancer Survivor Fashion Show hosted by Old Navy was Sunday afternoon at Pritchard Community Center. More than 20 participants modeled clothes and shared their stories.

This is the second year for the event. Last year it raised more than $700 for the American Cancer Society, coordinator Jason Richardson said, and this year he hoped to double that goal.

The event grew considerably this year. It moved from the Old Navy store to Pritchard and added more models, a meal from Texas Roadhouse and a silent auction.

Carol Kennedy of Elizabethtown was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and now is cancer-free. She wanted to participate because she’s proud of having beaten her illness. Kennedy’s experience gave her strength to walk out on the stage.

“I guess I just told myself if I could survive cancer, I could survive the crowd,” she said.

The youngest model was Jayvin Adams, 2. Jayvin, who was unsure of the crowd, walked out with his mother, Lindsey Roark. Jayvin was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia at 7 months old. He’s been in remission for 15 months.

Roark said she wanted to participate to “give awareness that kids do get cancer, too.”

Danielle Large of Elizabethtown said surviving cancer made her want to take advantage of new opportunities. Large said walking out on stage was “nerve-wracking. But different. And fun.”

Richardson said he liked this way of raising money because it gives the models a way to feel good about themselves.

“It kind of gives them a break away from their everyday life,” he said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.