The New York Fashion Week witnessed this Sunday the harsh reality faced by metastatic breast cancer patients, who paraded on the catwalk to denounce the lack of research for this disease that has no cure.
“Metastatic breast cancer is a death sentence,” Michael Kovarik, one of the few men suffering from this disease, who arrived in 2015 when it spread to bones, lungs and lymph glands, said during the event.
The organization Metavivor together with Anaono fight to make this phrase so lapidary lose meaning, and thus avoid the death of more than 40,000 women a year in the US alone, and about 570,000 worldwide.
And is that statistics suggest that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and of all those affected, 30 percent will reach the metastatic phase, which will irremediably end their lives.
But no one would say that the score of women who toured the catwalk at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, all affected by metastatic breast cancer, suffer from a disease without remedy.
Far from the superficial and rigid shows that fill the New York Fashion Week, the protagonists of the day showed, with determination and aplomb, not only their scars and breasts deformed by the harsh surgeries to which they must submit, but messages from strength and positivity that dazzled the more than 200 people who attended the event.
“I am living” (“I’m living”), “Never Alone” (never alone) or “We will not bury our heads” (we will not give up) were some of the messages that could be seen in the bodies of the mannequins , which showed the Anaono underwear, dedicated exclusively to the design and sale of underwear for women with this disease.
“This catwalk will change the way we perceive breast cancer, we will give visibility to those who live with metastases, and that our beauty, identity and sexuality will not be defined by our diagnosis,” said Anaono’s founder, Dana. Donofree
Among the models, Dikla Benzeebi, 49, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer 17 years ago, during which she had to stop working after having undergone 15 different treatments to try to stop the progression of the disease.
“Parading down a catwalk at New York Fashion Week is a dream come true, it dignifies us all,” the American said in an interview with Efe.
“Not only are we sick, but human beings with our own personalities, our goals, our dreams,” said Benzeebi, who described how all those affected try to prevent the disease from taking over their lives.
In his opinion, much work has been done in the last 30 years in the dissemination of breast cancer information, but very little research has been devoted to metastasis of the disease, with only 2 to 5 percent of the funds collected for the ailment destined to this final phase.
“Yes,” admits Benzeebi, “breast cancer receives a lot of attention, and so does the pink movement,” the color of the bond of solidarity with which this disease is identified, “but what people do not understand is that it has many phases and people are still dying of this. “
Melissa Beck, 30, also lives with the disease, which will force her to receive a chemotherapy session once a week for the rest of her life.
The parade, she says, has made her feel sexy, strong and understood, “surrounded by people who know exactly how it feels to deal with something like that.”
To avoid being in the same situation, he urges women to become their best advocates, and to go to the doctor if they feel that “something is not going well.” (EFEUSA) .-