By Bob Weir | Photos by Annette Weir
Arguably, the scariest word in the English language, especially when attributed to someone we love, is “cancer.” After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Some of the most common types of this disease are breast, prostate, colon, lung, basal cell, lymphoma, and melanoma cancers. Leading causes include tobacco use, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical exercise, and excessive intake of alcohol. Thankfully, early detection and treatment often result in eradicating the disease before much damage occurs. As frightening as the “C word” is, it is not a death sentence. Although there is no cure yet, the modern world of medicine offers several treatment options that can maintain a long healthy life for those who follow the guidelines.
There are many organizations that help to rebuild the confidence and spirit of those who have become discouraged or depressed by the fear that accompanies the unwelcome news of a diagnosis. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. In addition to funding research centers nationwide in their quest to find a cure, the society is also the inspiration for fundraising events that help the cause.
One such event, the 20th Annual American Cancer Society’s “You’re Beautiful” Luncheon and Style Show, celebrating local cancer survivors, was held on March 3rd, 2023, at Hubbard Hall on the campus of Texas Women’s University in Denton. The luncheon, attended by about 400 Denton County residents, featured a fashion show modeled by cancer survivors throughout the county.
The ballroom platform, which extended along the middle of the spacious room, provided the runway for models of all ages. Among the lively contingent of strollers, strutters, and dancers, were teenager Brannock Sorenson who wore fashions by Men’s Wearhouse, and 4-year-old Hank Taylor, wearing styles by Half Pint Children’s Boutique. Other models, alphabetically, were Natalie Burraston, by Apricot Lane; Dotty Doyle, by Cabi; Linda Leamon, by Dillard’s; Joel Monsibais, by JT Clothiers; Brad Olson, by Men’s Wearhouse; Lilyan Prado; by La Di Da; Barb Prins, by Dillard’s; and Melissa Walker, by Dillard’s.
Underwriters for the magnificent event included some of the most prominent families, businesses, physicians, bankers, and entrepreneurs in North Texas. Added to that were two dozen area leaders working the tables as concierges. Among them was Denton’s Mayor, Gerard Hudspeth, who was busily moving around the huge ballroom, serving coffee, and clearing away dishes. Also, military veteran and local businessman Andre “Frenchy” Rheault could be seen hustling from table to table, serving the needs of attendees. Seeing this level of participation from so many well-known residents is indicative of the high moral and ethical principles in our community.
The many other distinguished volunteers that made this important event successful are part of the unwavering dedication to the struggle to win the fight against this disease. Anyone who has loved someone with cancer knows a cure must be found. To date, thanks to the volunteer efforts and community support, the event has contributed over $1,070,000 towards local patient services, research, education, and advocacy.