Cancer Survivors Become Runway Models to Raise Funds for Peer Mentor Breast and Gynecological Cancer Program at Long Beach Memorial

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On Feb. 28, more than 200 community members attended the 3rd Annual “Love Your Mentors” Fashion Show & Silent Auction at the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach to show their support and raise funds for the Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support and Education mentor program at the MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Memorial.

Women Guiding Women – one of only two peer-mentor programs of its kind in the nation – pairs specially trained cancer survivors with newly diagnosed women to provide a variety of support services for breast and gynecologic cancer patients.

Support is available to any woman in the community regardless of their financial means or where they are receiving treatment, making funding essential. Love Your Mentors was created as a way to raise funds while highlighting the selfless commitment of the mentors.

“All of the models in the show are mentors and all of our mentors are cancer survivors,” says Martina Rosso, Love Your Mentors founder. “So many women who receive support give back to the program by becoming mentors for other women. This year, we had three generations of mentors in the fashion show.”

As each mentor made their way across the country club, attendees heard their stories of survival. From a one-year survivor to an 18-year survivor, 22 mentors of all ages and backgrounds modeled CAbi – Carol Anderson by Invitation – clothing and accessories courtesy of Lisa King, CAbi consultant.

Throughout the event, attendees bid on auction items donated by more than 80 local organizations and businesses.

While family and friends can lend a great deal of comfort and encouragement, having someone who’s gone through similar experiences to offer support and friendship helps facilitate the healing process. Through their own experience, Women Guiding Women mentors deliver knowledge, support, encouragement and friendship.

“Cancer can be such a daunting diagnosis, and so many women are diagnosed at a younger age,” says Rosso. “It’s nice to have someone who’s there to guide you through it, and be able to see them on the other end of the dark tunnel.”

For more information about becoming mentor, or to be matched with a mentor visit Women Guiding Women.