I looked at Kim and said “I can’t believe we are doing this!” and she replied “I know!!!” We sounded like a bunch of giddy teenagers.
Back in Summer 2014 I agreed to be a part of this cancer survivor runway show. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but figured I didn’t have anything to lose. I mentioned the runway show in my blog a few times but still had no idea what all was involved.
Fast forward to March 24, 2015. (I just got chills while I typed the date) One of the most amazing nights of my life. I know I won’t be able to explain the experience in a way that will make it clear how truly lucky I am to have been a part of this but I'll do my best.
We met in February for our gifting party and to begin our weekly practices in preparation for the runway show. OMG what a party this was. I really had no idea what to expect but was in awe at all of the gifts we received from businesses in our community. The estimated value of our gifts was somewhere around $2500 for EACH OF US. After receiving our gifts and setting up appointments for our fittings we sat in a circle and each of us told our stories. When it came to my story I had no idea what to say! I had been listening so intently to each story, wanting to know more about the lives of each woman I was hearing from that I didn't get the chance to plan what I was going to say. All I could do was speak from the heart. We all had something in common and at that moment became as close as though we’d known each other for years.
Our practices consisted of learning to pose on the runway and for photos, learning to walk the runway and how to do turns and spins, learning the choreography for our show and getting our pictures taken individually and as a group (by Chandra who only snapped 2 pics of me and maybe 4 of the group and caught pictures that everyone likes!). The practices also included a lot of girl talk! These women really were becoming my close friends. We all share something that is so unique and can support each other in a way that we didn’t even know we needed.
On March 24, 2015 our lives were changed forever thank you to a few women who found it in their hearts to create an event to empower cancer survivors. This was a top notch event! As we were waiting to walk the runway in our first outfit, our formal dresses, we were nervous. I looked at Kim and said “I can’t believe we are doing this!” and she replied “I know!!!” We sounded like a bunch of giddy teenagers. That was about as ‘out of control’ as I got.’ I walked on stage and the crowd was cheering for me! WOW! Everyone in that room was cheering for ME!!! I don’t know how my friends and family got so lucky but they were smack dab at the end of the runway. I walked towards them and could see them cheering and smiling. Oh what a feeling!
All of a sudden I was changing into my second outfit, a contemporary outfit that I love! And then it was time to walk onto the runway for a 2nd time. This time Kim and I walked out together. We rocked that runway and then we were changing into our third outfits and couldn’t believe the show was almost over! Everything went by way too fast. We wanted to keep walking the runway! The nerves were gone and we all had the biggest smiles on our faces!
Our third outfits were resort wear. My outfit was pretty much a muumuu and a bikini top. But it was better than that and I felt like a million bucks in it. This was our final walk. Everyone was still cheering! Everyone cheered the entire time we walked the runway! All 19 of us, Cancer Survivors/Mothers/Daughters/Wives/Friends, were on the runway together having the time of our lives!
This event was a monumental day in my life. I didn’t even realize this until after the event but I couldn’t have planned it better. Doctors, nurses, friends and family came to celebrate My Finale. After pretty much being off work for 2 years, I plan to return to work in 1 week. The Kemp family is about to find out what our new normal is and this finale was one I will never forget!
|Susan and Lisa had an idea to empower cancer survivors and they sure have done this!|
|Our team! Dawn, Eloise, Lane, Lisa, Celeste, Patrice and Susan. We love them all!!!|
|My formal dress.|
|Me in my muumuu|
|My favorite outfit, the contemporary outfit.|
|Some of my new friends! Stacie, Kim and Allison|
|Kim, Diane and me|
|Me, Stacie and Lynell|
|Seats for my friends and family at the end of the runway|
|My 'head shot' but Candra.|
|You Night NOLA Class of 2015|
|Helena, Cate and Me after the show|
|Another new friend Karen, after the show|