, Salem, MA

Fighting breast cancer

October 16, 2012

All eyes on breast cancer awareness during fashion event

DANVERS — Lorraine Roy Designer Collections is bringing pink to the catwalk.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Danvers shop and fellow sponsors will present Illusions, a magical fashion event to help make breast cancer disappear, at the Danversport Yacht Club.

“Because we’re a women’s store, we decided it would be nice to do something that primarily affects women,” said owner Jeanne Hennessey. “Unfortunately, we all know so many people who have been affected by breast cancer.”

The fashion show will benefit the Breast Oncology Program at the Mass General / North Shore Cancer Center.

“We wanted to give to breast cancer, but we wanted to remain local at the same time rather than give to Avon or Susan G. Komen,” Hennessey said. “We wanted to make a difference in our own neighborhood.”

She added: “I’ve had relatives who’ve been treated so wonderfully there. It’s nice to give back when you know people who have benefited from all of their expertise and compassion.”

In addition to professional models showing off Lorraine Roy’s dress collections, 12 local breast cancer survivors will make their way down the catwalk, modeling a series of trench coats that will be raffled off throughout the evening.

Hennessey said the survivors range in age from their 30s to their 70s, and each will be recognized with a short story about their cancer fight.

Among the survivor models will be Noreen Forlizzi of Danvers. Forlizzi, now 57, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 32. She celebrated her 25th anniversary in June.

“I was very lucky. I never had a problem,” she said.

Forlizzi found a lump while doing a breast exam on herself. A registered nurse in the outpatient oncology ward at St. Elizabeth’s in Brighton at the time, she was aware of the possibilities. She made an appointment, and doctors determined the lump was cancer.

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