Hosted by the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, the Think Pink Tea was held in person for the first time in three years.
Breast cancer survivors, healthcare providers and supporters walked the runway in the latest fall fashions at the 12th Think Pink Tea on Sunday, Oct. 23, at the MacQueen Alumni Center at the University of South Alabama.
The event, hosted by the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, drew hundreds of participants dressed in pink to celebrate breast cancer awareness. It also featured a panel discussion with oncology experts and a breast cancer survivor.
“It’s a fight. You have to stay strong and believe in yourself,” said Michele Janos, a two-time breast cancer survivor who modeled a black pleated pantsuit by Journey. Janos said she was encouraged by seeing all of her family supporting her at the event.
The models – cancer survivors, oncology nurses and USA first lady Janée Bonner – were met with cheers and standing ovations as they showed off outfits provided by Metzger’s Clothing. They were escorted by ambassadors for the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink.
“Seeing the men come out and participate with the ladies was very nice,” said breast cancer survivor Ester Payton, who participated in the panel discussion.
Joining Payton on the panel were breast radiologist Elizabeth Park, M.D.; breast surgical oncologist Rachel Hunter, M.D.; and certified genetic counselor Cassie Gurganus, C.G.C.
The group marked a moment of silence as they helped light a memorial candle at the end of the runway. “This candle is lit in honor of those who have lost their battle with breast cancer,” said fashion show emcee Kelly Finley. “The memory of their courageous spirits will remain alive in our hearts forever. We will never forget you.”