Without further adieu,
May I present to you, my fellow classmates and MODELS…
YouNIGHT Empowering Events Class of 2015:
Now, a few gals are missing here, but you can be sure to see them when you GET YOUR TICKETS and watch us
ROCK THE RUNWAY on
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22ND
(details below… Click invite below to be brought to website for TICKETS!)
*** as noted, prices increase after September 1st***
WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?
A runway show? Modeling? What’s up with all this?… When did 24 Cancer survivors (Yup. That’s how many cancer “butt-kickers” will be workin’ it on that stage) find the time to invest in a modeling career AND kick cancer to the curb?
Well, here’s the deal. “YouNight Empowering Events” is a program that invites cancer SURVIVORS (That term defines women, AND MEN now, too!… We have 2 handsome fellas in our class this year) that may be at the end of their treatment, just finished, or have survived it years ago. A survivor is a SURVIVOR! And this program gives them a chance to SHINE!
Did I get cheesy there? Maybe. But seriously, when patients go through what they go through… they can experience some pretty dark days. When you’re rolling along in the middle of your life, and … BOOM… your diagnosis lands before you like a BOMB, you’re forced to face the unknown. You have no choice, but to let go of your control, let go of your previous idea of what your motherhood (or fatherhood) looked like, let go of the way you did things, the way you put food on the table, the way you put things away in your house, let go of whether or not you wanted people to help (not that you’re ungrateful, but it’s a sacrifice of so much of your independence), let go of the way you dressed (because you didn’t feel good enough to care or because your port showed when you put that shirt on or hurt under those straps), or even let go of the way you wore your hair (because you didn’t have any). It’s a lot to let go of. Without asking. … Cancer could very possibly put out that light that once shined very brightly for a lot of people.
But in my experience… Cancer was a blessing.
In my experience… Cancer lit up areas in my family’s life that we had trouble lighting up before.
Cancer was very, very, VERY humbling.
Yet, Cancer was … somehow… some way… very
and oddly enough…
This program, “YouNight”” (click the link for their Facebook Page), confirms so much of what I felt all throughout my journey this past year. When I first felt my lump, I just knew that “every little thing was gonna be alright”. Everyone kept asking for a miracle, and I knew there would be one, but (sorry to be so redundant on this point) I didn’t think it would be some crazy healing of my body, but it would be miraculous, in part, just in the very fact that so many people were praying! I felt the healing had to happen in my family because, previously in my life, I had struggled with body and self image issues, and although I’ve always been a very positive person (always wanting to be out and about with friends, never wanting to miss a thing, out there living and loving life) I still felt myself to be lesser than others, or not “pretty enough”, not as good as, etc. I grew up striving for everything, never giving up and encouraging everyone else to do the same. However, when I came home, I’d pick myself apart thinking, “Why’d you say that?.. do that? not say that?… not do that?, etc.” It’s a vicious, vicious cycle that so many of us, especially women, do to ourselves.
When I gave birth to my first born, A GIRL, I was so scared. Not to be a mom. I was thrilled for that! But being that she was A GIRL, I was afraid that she’d struggle with the same crud that I did. But I knew there was a reason God didn’t give a boy to this tomboy mama. SHE made me want to be better. She made me take a look at myself and HEAL. … But clearly God has a sense of humor and knew I needed more motivation than just ONE GIRL. I now have FOUR GIRLS and ONE BOY (‘cuz every body needs a little flattery once in a while, too, right?!).
Breast Cancer was my answer, my opportunity, and my miracle.
When I lost my hair, I knew that NOW WAS MY CHANCE to transform beauty! We talked about how Mommy’s eyes and smile were still going to be the same. My hugs were the same. My laugh was the same. My voice, my stories, my… everything else was the same. It was only hair. Hair doesn’t make the person beautiful. Inside makes you beautiful. (Take a look back at my blog the day I first shaved my head (into a Mohawk, first, of course), and once all was gone, asked the kids to draw pics of how my kids “saw” me even without hair: OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: HAIR TRANSFORMATION, or when my son first was brave enough to “pet my head”: THE DUDE: HE MAKES ME, HE BREAKS ME, or my favorite: VANITY OF VANITES: WHO NEEDS HAIR.) They got it. And we’ll all be forever changed because of this year. My daughters will grow and move on with a stronger foundation knowing who they are as truly beautiful women of God, and my son can confidently look in the mirror himself knowing what’s important and, hopefully, treat and look at girls as “ladies” and with respect. All because of little ol’ cancer.
After all that, when I learned about YouNight, and all that they do, not just “the night of”, but for months before the event even happens, I learned that they bring the models together for workshops, photo shoots, FUN nights, offer opportunities of healing with ministers, retreat days, etc., I was all about it! (‘Cuz I gotta admit, before I knew all the info, my former self tried to speak out and say, “NO! Don’t do it.. You’re no model. What’ll people say?” But I didn’t have time for that, my friend, Angelle Albright, ya know from ChemoBeanies? She signed me up before I even knew about it anyway! Haha! So glad she did! Angelle to the rescue … AGAIN!) ‘Cuz they’re about so much more than flashy clothes and pretty poses. They’re healing survivors at the end of a long journey. Cleaning them up after climbing Mt. Everest, giving them water and nourishment from the inside out and getting them back out there with a new-found FAMILY of fellow climbers to say “WE DID IT!”
So, is”YouNight Empowering Events“ just some show about cancer survivors not feeling sorry for themselves anymore just because they slapped a few fancy clothes on us and let us prance around??
HECK NO! WE WOULDN’T DO THAT!
It’s about showing cancer who’s boss because we turned a crappy situation around and made something that was supposed to be terrible into
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR STRENGTH, HEALING AND LIFE!!!
And, yes, it’s also a “Red Carpet Night” for a bunch-o-bad asses. Pretty sure God approves that one. He’s on our team. I know that, or else we wouldn’t be here.
Which is another reason to check us out with our kick
ass butt “boxing” theme this year! ‘Cuz cancer didn’t stand a chance in the ring with us!
(Sorry, David and Charles. But it’s without saying that we know you Guys can put up your dukes!)
Besides, it’ll be FUN! Food, Drinks, Pre-party, After party, Dancing!!!, Goofy photo booths!, (of course the modeling in between!!) and 24 Survivors lookin’ “red carpet fabulous” (thanks to the generosity of local boutiques, salons, and make-up artists) that I invite you to PLEASE come and CHEER FOR, introduce yourselves to, and pray for them and their families. Not to mention, many of our fantastic doctors and nurses will be there for you to meet and high-five for an above and beyond, miraculous…. genious… (need I say more?) job well done. Bring a friend, bring a family member, bring someone you know who’s recently been diagnosed. I came to the show last year during my 2nd round of chemo and was. in. AWE. It totally inspired me to beat this thing.
BUY A TICKET, Show some support to this incredible cause of changing, empowering and continuing the healing process of what can sometimes be an even sneakier aftermath that follows AFTER CANCER. YouNight has moved to the Castine Center for the first time not only with the hopes to invite more people to come support the models/survivors, but to hopefully have the funds to INVITE MORE SURVIVORS to be a part of the experience. I 100% support this program and hope more people can experience it, too, whether they’re in the audience… or are one day up on that runway. Either way… GET YOUR TICKETS AND GET READY TO ROCK IT WITH US!!!
**Scroll below for behind the scenes PICS AND VIDEOS of our class never missing an opportunity to have a good time. And to think, this is only the beginning of our “YouNight Process” It’s gonna be such a fun ride! I’ve been told I have a pretty “toothy grin” already, just wait ’til I’m on that runway. I’ll be showin’ my molars! (And bustin’ some moves, I’m sure! Can’t help it.)**
SEE YA THERE!!!
VIDEO 1: Photo shoot Goofballs During Magazine Photo Shoot
I call this one, “Cancer You can’t Have ‘Dis No’Mo’!”
VIDEO 2: Highlighting “Our Guys”
The Most Interesting Men In St. Tammany
Good Times With Our New “Fam”
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Now that’s what you call “a bevy of beauties!”
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Aw, thank you, Mrs.Pat! I really hope y’all can make it to the show. It’d mean so much to see y’all out there. Your family has been such an outstanding support, in more ways than one.
Ugly cry. UGLY CRY! Oh my word, what a beautiful post. And that video!!!! For heaven sake, a little warning would have been nice. Love you.
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Didn’t mean to make you ugly cry!! Hopefully you’re in carpool line with sunglasses? My bad though on the video, after your comment, I realized you got to see a sneek peek on a video for a later post. And yes, that one would need fair warning. “Sorry”- Gilly (SNL) … Please review replaced “Cancer No’ Mo’ Video”. Actually silly, not meant for tears.
Awesome blog post — I could feel your energy jumping off the page. I’m so happy you found YouNight and YouNight found you. What a true blessing you are.
Thank you!! I’m so glad you could feel it… Cuz it’s definitely movin in me😊. God bless you, too
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