Photo: Breast cancer survivor Emily Davis poses at the end of the runway at the YMCA’s Heroes In Heels fashion show.
By LANDON WOODROOF
Liberty Hall at the The Factory at Franklin was packed Tuesday night for a special event that celebrated the lives of cancer survivors in the Nashville area.
The YMCA’s Heroes In Heels fashion show featured 22 breast cancer survivors who have participated this year in the After Breast Cancer program. This free program provides wellness services, including nutrition and exercise guidance, as well as a sense of community and fellowship to breast cancer survivors in the area. The fashion show fully funds the event, according to the event Facebook page.
The 22 participants were divided up into teams with names like The Princess Warriors and The Gutsy Gals. For the first time this year, the event featured awards that were given out to each group of women. These awards included the Perseverance Award and the Courage Award, among others.
“Each one of these groups represents a community of ladies who have walked the ABC journey together,” event co-chair Catherine Birdwell said before the show. “They held each others’ hands, and they supported each other along the way because as we all know we are stronger together.”
Past participant on NBC’s “The Voice,” and country music artist, Mary Sarah, hosted the event.
Dillard’s of Green Hills provided outfits from its fall collection for the participants to wear down the runway.
Although the event was largely a celebration of life, everyone did take a moment to remember two ABC program participants who passed away this year: Katie Cooney and Anna Rucker.
ABC Program Director Nancy Brown spoke of their bright personalities and strong spirits. She shared a comment that Rucker made about her struggles with cancer.
“Anna said I win,” Brown remembered. “Either way I win. If the Lord lets me stay on earth a while longer, I win, but if he calls me home, I win.”
The ABC program has been offered at the Maryland Farms YCMA for eight years, serving over 1,000 women in that time. The program is also offered at the Bellevue, Clarksville, Green Hills, Margaret Maddox, Robertson County and Sumner County YMCAs and in the Murfreesboro area in partnership with the Murfreesboro Recreation Department.