Tuesday, August 6, 2013

There's No Journey Without Miracles ...

“Your life’s journey is about becoming more of who you are.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Like Oprah, I truly believe my entire life is a miracle. There are so many things that happen in our life that we do not plan but the important thing that I have come to know is to look at what we go through and be sure to learn something from it. This traveling the journey is how we come to know who we are. 

A couple of months ago, I got a phone call from Dr. Jackie Walters (you may know her from the reality show Married to Medicine) detailing her plans for a fabulous gala to launch her non-profit “50 Shades of Pink.” She went on to say that there would be a fashion show and she wanted me to design the clothes for it. She had a vision that I could truly feel through the phone. Dr. Jackie said she wanted these clothes to be comfortable for women who have undergone surgery after breast cancer and that she was passionate about the models being survivors or connected to a survivor. We traded stories on how when you look good it makes you feel good. We both acknowledged what an important role that played in recovery. (I know I wanted to look cute every time I went to the doctor!) I just felt like, ‘I can’t control what’s going on in my body but I can control how I look and that made me feel good!’

I was both thrilled and honored Dr. Jackie asked me! With my background as an Occupational Therapist, designing this line would be a perfect match!! Dr. Jackie told me she didn’t want to just do a fashion show—it was bigger than that. It had to have purpose, and she knew exactly what she wanted. Now, I was still recovering myself and had one more procedure to go…but if you know me then you know I said ‘Of course I will!’  (There were sooooo many moments I felt in over my head, but I didn't stop!)  While we were on the phone I began to sketch, and before I knew it I had 10 designs. With the help of Beverly Keys, a designer and one of my former interns from Clark Atlanta School of Fashion, I was able to design and construct every piece on the runway. It was amazing!! Yes, that was a miracle!! The driving force was the purpose behind the fashion show. Launching 50 Shades of Pink was a celebration of the inner and outer beauty of breast cancer patients and survivors. Here's one of my sketches:

The event took place on Saturday, July 27th at the The Ballroom at Carlos Center in Atlanta. Dr. Jackie gave a remarkable, touching and honest presentation. To watch a woman beat breast cancer twice and give back so much was not only inspiring, it motivated me to want to give more of myself. The event was a true success. They raised over $100,000 with plans to help so many women. I was honored to have been a part of it.

This experience allowed me to meet some really wonderful women who graciously wore my clothing on the runway. Each had her own unique story of survival, and it was an awesome experience to become a meaningful piece of their journeys.

It was a surreal moment as I watched these models on the runway. I was struck by the beauty of the women in the clothes—my clothes. Even more so, I was moved by the magnificence of how my story, my journey, has so beautifully come full circle. Not only was it a dream come true but the road traveled to get to that moment was nothing short of a miracle…

For more information on ‘50 Shades of Pink Foundation’ go to http://www.50shadesofpinkfoundation.org