Pediatric cancer champions walk runway to raise funds for Cancer Center

On February 9, more than 350 guests joined event chairs Sidney Faust, Judi McGee, Elsie Eckert and Scott Basinger for the 10th annual Celebration of Champions fashion show and luncheon at the River Oaks Country Club.

The event featured a fashion show with pediatric cancer survivors from Texas Children’s Cancer Center walking the runway with this year’s Community Champions, a group of notable Houstonians who do so much to help children battling cancer and make the community a better place.

More than your typical fashion show, it was a “look at me now” moment for children who have seen some dark days early in their lives in their fight with cancer. View a gallery of photos from the event below.

In addition to showcasing the latest fashion trends from Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s, the event also featured a special appearance by the honorary event chairs Jeff Bagwell and Mary Lou Retton. Bagwell and Retton kicked off the event with the lighting of the Torch of Hope and later took the runway alongside patient champions.

Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1.5 million for the Long Term Cancer Survivor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, which monitors patients for delayed side effects and complications caused by previous cancer therapies. Not every pediatric cancer treatment center continues to care for its patients into adulthood however, caregivers at Texas Children’s Cancer Center recognize that health concerns for childhood cancer patients do not end when their cancer treatment is successfully completed.

The program currently has 25,000 long-term pediatric cancer survivors nationwide enrolled in Passport for Care®, an online resource guide developed at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine that provides individualized health care information to guide physicians’ care for late risks and effects from childhood cancer treatment. It has developed an international reputation as a leader in the field and has attracted a world-renowned faculty involved in local, national and international research that benefits today’s pediatric cancer patients and future survivors.

The event’s Community Champions included Jeff and Rachel Bagwell, Mary Lou Retton, Dr. David Poplack, Lisa McCoy, Linda and Mark Evans, Winell and Doug Herron, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Christie and Billy McCartney, Kathi and Bill Rovere, Tena and Tyson Faust, Hannah and Cal McNair, Penny and John Butler, Mary and John Eads, Diane and John Riley, Courtney and Christopher Sarofim. Among the event’s other medically-minded supporters were Flo Crady, Emily Crosswell, Bo Butler, Scott Butler, Megan Cushing, Bethany Hibbetts, Caroline Walter, Joanna and Brad Marks, Lisa and Mike O’Leary, Carmen and Butch Mach.