Hong Kong’s First Breast Cancer Survivors’ Fashion Show
The first ever fashion show in Hong Kong performed by breast cancer survivors as models was staged at Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s Pink Revolution launch ceremony today (20 September), at Olympian City II. Twelve breast cancer survivors who are users and volunteers of the Cancer Fund, joined international model Jocelyn Luko on the catwalk to showcase the confidence and inner beauty they built through their cancer experience. Coco Lee, world-renowned diva and Cancer Fund’s Pink Ambassador, came along to support Cancer Fund’s initiative.
Connie is one of the models who took the stage and shared her breast cancer experience at the launch event. “Going through breast cancer was daunting – I went through surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. All these treatments left me with different side effects, both physical and mental. From the time when my hair started falling from my head continuously, I realised that all I needed to overcome breast cancer is courage, and I’m happy to demonstrate this courage to everyone today.”
Jocelyn Luko, coach and stylist of the very first breast cancer survivor fashion show, said the experience was inspiring. “I was amazed by the courage and confidence of these wonderful models who have experienced breast cancer. Considering it is the first time on stage and with the limited time we had for rehearsal, I am totally mesmerised by our survivors’ courage, determination and self-confidence which has made the show possible.”
“This spectacular catwalk aims to show the importance of building confidence for women with breast cancer. Treatment is not the end of the cancer journey, it is just the start of a long road to recovery,” said Sally Lo, Founder and CEO of Hong Kong Cancer Fund. “Our role is to support women and families to overcome the physical and psychological upheavals that come along with a cancer diagnosis, helping them to get back to normal life through our free services.”
Along with the highs of her career and international success, Coco Lee has also encountered her own personal challenges. “I was overworked, having vocal issues and I had totally lost my confidence. I felt like I was losing my voice and thought my career was over,” she says of her experiences from 2006 to 2008. With the support of her mother and guidance by Lady Gaga’s voice coach, Lee was slowly able to overcome her challenges and rebuild her self-belief. “It took a long, long time to get my confidence back but my voice is now better than it ever was before.” She hopes all women affected by breast cancer can also overcome their difficulties like she has.
1 in 17 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Hong Kong* and the number is ever increasing. Today’s launch event kicked-off Cancer Fund’s 16th Pink Revolution, a month long campaign that aims to raise public awareness of breast cancer and raise funds to support Cancer Fund’s full range of free services for women diagnosed. Over 30 retailers, restaurants and hotels have joined Shop for Pink with selected items on sale with a portion of income donated to support Cancer Fund’s free breast cancer services. On 21 October, corporates and individuals are encouraged to join Dress Pink Day and make a donation, to support women experiencing breast cancer. All month Cancer Fund is educating women to ‘check, check, check’ their breasts regularly because early detection can save lives.
Special acknowledgement to: Marks and Spencer for providing outfits for the fashion show and Olympian City for providing the venue.
*Figure from Hospital Authority, Hong Kong Cancer Registry’s latest figure 2013.