By conducting research, which supports and proves the necessity of our distribution events, and by collaborating with fashion houses to donate new apparel to cancer patients, our goals will be met in helping to improve patients’ self-image and confidence. These efforts altogether assist in cutting down on the financial burden of cancer.
The way that our distribution events will work is: Twice a year we will gather donated products from fashion houses, and will distribute the items to patients in need at partnering NYC hospitals. Temporary Fabulous & Fighting “stores” will be staffed by volunteers who will help patients to choose clothing and accessories.
NOTE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In June 2013, my Mom—who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—received a free wig in preparation for one of the side effects of chemotherapy. This act of generosity, together with the realization that wigs and makeup were being donated to patients undergoing cancer treatment, gave me a new appreciation for the hair care and cosmetics industries.
However, I was surprised to learn that clothing was not being donated by the fashion industry. Clearly, a need existed as treatments can cause extreme weight changes, creating the additional expense of new clothes on top of extraordinarily expensive treatment plans. Bankruptcies have occurred even for patients who have health insurance. Therefore, any opportunity to reduce out-of-pocket costs is necessary.
Furthermore, it is key for cancer patients to have a positive outlook in this fight. I will never forget the image of a young girl who was receiving chemotherapy. Although she had lost her hair, she was beautiful. As she read a fashion magazine while receiving chemo, I thought, “Why should this patient, or any patient, not feel good about their appearance as they go through one of the most difficult chapters in their life?”
The fashion industry has the power to help each cancer patient feel beautiful and confident—in short, fabulous—in maintaining a positive fighting spirit.
That is why I founded “Fabulous & Fighting”.
-Bethany Heinrich, Executive Director