Fight like a girl! That’s the spirit! And that was the message of the 9th annual Fight Like A Girl Fashion Show at Bistro Soleil in the Olde Marco Inn. This fabulous event benefits the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Marco Island. It began years ago when cancer survivor Lisa Meurge of Bistro Soleil was joined by Joyce McFarland of the Marco Island Clothing Company in a venture of one friend helping another in the fight against cancer. Since that time, Joyce McFarland was also diagnosed with cancer and is now a survivor herself. The mission and the fight for a cure continue today with even more of a punch.
Lisa Meurge said, “I am proud and happy to participate in efforts to raise money and work for a cure. I lost my sister to ovarian cancer in 2006 when she was only 43. My father is also a survivor. I do it all for them and so many others.” Joyce McFarland stressed that being a survivor is a universal lifelong process, saying, “We are all battling something.” McFarland noted the kindness and generosity of Marco Islanders, recalling how total strangers would stop by the store to wish her well when she was going through her cancer treatments.
The fashion event was informative, inspirational and entertaining. Pre-show entertainment was provided by Steve Reynolds, Island Paradise DJ Service and harpist Kim Adamson, a cancer survivor. Dodi Fischer of New Beginnings Salon in Naples told us of her discreet and confidential servicesfor cancer patients who have lost their hair due to treatments. Marie Benson of Laser Lounge Spa spoke of cosmetic tatooing procedures for women undergoing breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Amanda Hodge of Brighton, a quality ladies handbag and jewelry company, spoke about their Power of Pink crusade that has donated $6.5 million dollars to breast cancer research. Kerri Lampos of Revival Yoga opened our eyes to the science of mindfulness, a benefit of yoga.
Perhaps the greatest message of hope came from Emory University Fellowship trained breast surgeon, Dr. Troy Shell. Dr. Shell practices exclusively at Physician’s Regional Medical Center, Collier Boulevard. She spoke of radar localization, a precise and minimally invasive type of biopsy that has been available at Physician’s Regional since August.
Then it was time for the beautiful models to steal the show, leading us in style and inspiration. Cancer survivors Mary Ann Pierson, Joanne Blau, Jada Shigley and Susan Morfee were joined by Lael Kilpatrick and Wanda McCasland in a display of style and grace, wearing fashions from the Marco Island Clothing Company.
All this was set amidst a delicious lunch by Bistro Soleil, stunning centerpieces by the Calusa Garden Club, a silent auction and several raffle items.
The American Cancer Society will continue to “fight like a girl” and then some until a cure is found. Please join in that fight at the Relay For Life of Marco Island, April 1 at Veterans Community Park from 4 to 10 PM.
For more information, please contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642-8800 or Sue.Olszak@cancer.org.