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    No.126: New York Fashion Week runway show: fearLESS AnaOno x Cancerland benefitting METAvivor sponsored by Eisai

    Post by Dana Donofree, AnaOno Founder and CEO 

    When I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost ten years ago, I had no idea that not everybody makes it. Now that I know 1 out of 3 women diagnosed with breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, I can't just accept that. We can't just accept that, and we have to do something about it.

    In 2020, for the fourth year in a row, AnaOno is partnering with #Cancerland in a New York Fashion Week event to raise funds for METAvivor sponsored by Eisai. Each year our efforts are focused on highlighting new conversations within the breast cancer community. This year's breast cancer fashion show will be called #fearLESS and we are looking to bridge the gap between early-stagers and late-stagers. I have been told more than once that early-stagers are often called "Fearless Friends" by the Stage IV community.

    By giving voice to our thoughts from both sides of that gap, we hope to remove some of the fear, shame, or judgment someone might feel based on their level of education or experience with advocacy. We know we can only truly accomplish our goals if we work together, while a divided community comes at a great cost.

    If early-stagers are afraid of supporting the late-stage community, we won't have enough voices to bring about the much-needed change in funding metastatic breast cancer research and we won't be able to move the needle. Speaking personally, I have lost way too many friends to this disease. Together, we have all lost too many powerful voices to their diagnoses, and we cannot afford to continue in this way. Research is so important when it comes to fighting breast cancer, and 100% of the proceeds from our New York Fashion Week event with Cancerland will go directly to research. We need the help and support of many to achieve this together.

    We know that advocacy takes a different level of attention, one that can be both scary and emotional. I get it. But this is the work that is so needed in order to support our community as a whole. We get so many messages about how we have to be brave and that it's not okay for us to be afraid. The thing is, it is okay to experience fear. Let's talk about those feelings and find ways to use these emotions to propel and kickstart the change we all so desperately need. Voicing our fears can help educate and inform and bring about change. Engage in the conversation, shine a light on what you fear most by adding in a comment below.

    Want to help? There are plenty of ways to get involved. Please share our Facebook event or the link to buy tickets to fearLESS.  You can buy tickets, sponsor a model, or make a donation.

    fearLESS AnaOno x Cancerland benefitting METAvivor sponsored by EISAI
    100% of proceeds go directly to research

    Date: Sunday, February 9, 2020⁠⠀
    Venue: Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk Street, New York, NY, 10002⁠⠀
    Schedule: VIP Champagne brunch: 11:30 am⁠, Doors open to general admission: 12pm⁠, Showtime: 1pm⁠



    Every model walking in the breast cancer fashion show is a patient, survivor, or thriver. Each one of them has their own unique reason for walking. From empowering themselves and others to raising awareness, they walk with a purpose. But they also walk with fear. Keep reading to learn about our models, what motivates them, and what they fear. Together, we can be #fearLESS.

    Model Allyn posed shirtless sitting while playing with her hair

    Meet Allyn

    I was 26 when I underwent bilateral reconstruction after losing my mother to breast cancer.

    I walk because it allows us to know that life doesn't stop after surgery. We can be sexy. We can thrive. We can live whole and fulfilling lives.

    I feared that having a mastectomy would hold me back from accomplishing some of the dreams I had planned for myself.

    Sponsored by Natrelle

    Head Shot of Model Lakesha smiling with head tilted just a bit

    Meet Lakesha

    I was first diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, not once, but twice, and now it has spread beyond the breast into my liver and bones.

    I walk to be a part of something that can help others, to show the world what living with metastatic disease looks like.

    I fear leaving my daughter motherless.

    Model Regina posing shirtless, pictured from the side looking straight ahead

    Meet Regina

    I was 34 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    By walking in this show I can continue to encourage and empower myself as well as others in our community.

    I fear what's next.

    Model Marianne leaning up against a side table with her arm resting on the table

    Meet Marianne

    I have been diagnosed with cancer three times.

    I can never forget hearing Champagne Joy say, "If we cure Stage 4, we can cure all stages of breast cancer." This solidified my compassion to make METASTATIC a word that is heard more often in conversation and throughout our community.

    I fear a fourth diagnosis of cancer.

    Head shot of model Erika smiling

    Meet Erika

    I received my BRCA2 mutation diagnosis 5 years ago. I preventatively removed my breasts and am under surveillance for ovarian cancer.

    I walk to raise awareness of hereditary cancer in the black community.

    I fear the unknown. Although I had a preventative mastectomy, I still worry about other cancers linked to a BRCA mutation.

    Sponsored by Basser

    Head shot of model Alyssa

    Meet Alyssa

    I was 34 years old and a professional dancer when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I walk to show that cancer does not define me. I will continue to walk alongside my fellow cancer survivors and thrivers and always be there to support them on their journey.

    I fear my cancer returning and losing friends I have grown close to.

    Sponsored by Natrelle

    Model Danielle with her hands above her head, forming a clap

    Meet Daniele

    I was diagnosed in September 2018 and have completed active treatment as of December 2019. I will continue to be on hormone suppression therapy for the next 10 years.

    I walk to inspire others not to shy away from the hard path we must take, but to walk with confidence in that path knowing it was created just for us.

    I fear letting my depression consume me.

    Head Shot of model Chelsey

    Meet Chelsey

    I have been living with TNBC breast cancer since 2017 at the age of 33.

    I use holistic and integrative approaches as an opportunity to live my life beyond my diagnosis.

    I fear side effects could create a new problem for me now or in the future.

    Sponsored by NYBRA

    Head shot of model Mina

    Meet Mina

    I was 38 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I walk for internal healing and helping others see my strength in living the best life I've been blessed with.

    I fear cancer coming back.

    Sponsored by Natrelle

    Model Erica sitting on the sidewalk outside with palm trees in the back

    Meet Erica

    I am BRCA+ and was diagnosed and treated for melanoma, which then lead to a preventative mastectomy.

    I walk to showcase the beautiful that comes from going through dark moments. It only helps us to shine bigger, brighter and more fully than ever before.

    I feared the loss of my femininity, but I feel more feminine than ever.

    Sponsored by LBBC

    Model Melissa standing slightly behind the wall, with a bit of her face not showing, smiling

    Meet Melissa

    I was 42 and a mother to two young daughters when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I walk to show women who were recently diagnosed that there is life after breast cancer. To tell cancer "You can't steal anything from me."

    I fear living in fear.

    Sponsored by Natrelle

    Selfie of model Jamil

    Meet Jamil

    I received a Stage IV De Novo breast cancer diagnosis about two years ago.

    Inspiring others to embrace their beauty and strength despite cancer trying to take it from me is why I walk.

    I fear not being able to control the metastasis if it progresses.

    Sponsored by Eisai

    Model Alissa looking over her shoulder and smiling

    Meet Alissa

    I was diagnosed with cancer at age 31.

    I walk to empower women of all ages but especially younger women. It is magical to be surrounded by others & not feel so alone in this everyday struggle.

    I fear recurrence.

    Sponsored by Natrelle

    Model Sofia leaning over on a railing, smiling

    Meet Sofia

    After dealing with stage 2 TNBC and lung cancer, I have no evidence of disease.

    I walk to make people aware that this can happen to any of us, and it IS okay, we can STILL live and enjoy life.

    My biggest fear is not being around for my daughters. The hardest part of treatment was to lose my hair.

    Fun fact: Sofia's native language is Portuguese! 

    Conheça a Sofia

    Após lidar com o com cancro da mama triplo negativo estádio 2 e 3 anos mais tarde cancro do pulmão, neste momento não tenho evidencias da doença.

    Eu estou a desfilar para criar consciência de que o cancro pode acontecer com qualquer um de nós, e mesmo assim, ainda podemos viver e aproveitar a vida. o meu maior medo é não estar presente para minhas filhas. A parte mais difícil do tratamento foi perder o meu cabelo.


    Model Ashadee smiling wearing a wedding dress

    Meet Ashadee

    I am a mother, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 34.

    I want to "own" my new "flatness" at New York Fashion Week. It is crazy, and scary, and yet empowering and life changing. I walk to feel beautiful without my breasts.

    I fear losing myself because of what this disease has taken from me.

    Model Rachel playing the piano

    Meet Rachel

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

    I walk to love myself the way I am and accept my body just the way it is after a mastectomy and hysterectomy.

    I fear living an incomplete life.

    Model Katherine smiling

    Meet Katherine

    After living 15 years with MBC and 12 treatment regimens down, I know firsthand how important research is!

    Research is life for us, and I walk for life!

    I fear leaving this life without leaving a meaningful legacy for those I love and respect.

    Sponsored by Eisai

    Model Molly in the middle of a laugh

    Meet Molly

    I was diagnosed in 2017 with breast cancer at the age of 32.

    I walk to use my body as a form of protest, to fight the stereotype that bravery means we should hide our fears related to this illness.

    All our fears are valid from death to losing our hair.

    Model Katie posing and wearing a crown

    Meet Katie

    I was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer in June 2011 at the age of 28 and diagnosed Stage 4 in October of 2015.

    I want to change peoples' perception of what living with breast cancer looks like.

    Breast cancer brings up many fears that come and go. I fear I won't be able to control my destiny and live my life on my terms.

    Sponsored by Dr. Holt

    Head shot of model Fabianna

    Meet Fabianna

    I am a 14-year triple negative metastatic thriver.

    I want to empower other thrivers and build up my views on body image, which has been a challenge for me.

    I fear losing who I am.

    Selfie of Model Shannon

    Meet Shannon

    I was 41 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I walk to voice that as painful as this journey has been, I want to reclaim myself and not let it define me.

    I truly fear it returning.

    Sponsored by Dr. Gabriel

    Selfie of model Anjali

    Meet Anjali

    I fought for genetic testing and found out I am BRCA 2 positive in 2017 and removed my breasts and ovaries.

    I want to inspire other young south Asian women to reach out, speak up, get tested, get mammograms.

    I fear not feeling whole again.

    Model Kate smiling and looking back

    Meet Kate

    I was 37 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I walk to show that you can fight a disease and still be able to live a happy life.

    I fear that the cancer could come back and I won't be able to accomplish my life goals.

    Sponsored by Dr. Gabriel

    Side ways image of Model Oauja

    Meet Oauja

    My first diagnosis was Oct 2015. Within 4 years, breast cancer has returned and spread to my bones. I am now metastatic as of December 11, 2019.

    I walk because I don't want to die. Only God can change my journey. Whatever time I have left on this earth - I must enjoy it.

    I fear leaving my daughter!

    Portrait of Model Deborah

    Meet Deborah

    25 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was more painful and frightening to see my daughter have breast cancer.

    I walk to support my daughter, to honor my mother who also had breast cancer and the whole breast cancer community.

    I fear recurrence in my daughter and myself, but I am inspired by the advances in treatment and restoration.

    Sponsored by Penn Medicine

    Selfie for model Michelle

    Meet Michelle

    I've been living with cancer for the last 9 years with the last 4 being metastatic.

    I walk to show that we, metastatic patients, are still alive and are still relevant in society. We have stories to tell and have so much advocacy to continue to do for those unfortunate to follow us.

    At this point, there's not much that I'm afraid of. I face death every day. I choose to live my best life and encourage others in my situation to do the same.

    Black and white image of Model Karima

    Meet Karima

    I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in 2013.

    My goal is to raise awareness of MBC with diversity, ethnicity and education.

    I fear my disease metastasizing to other areas.

    Sponsored by Eisai

    Model Tami standing on a stage smiling

    Meet Tami

    I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer less than a year ago and now have no evidence of disease.

    I walk to show the world we are all stronger than we know and for those beautiful women that can't, those fighting, and surviving!

    I fear losing.

    Sponsored by SIU

    Selfie of model Lindsey

    Meet Lindsey

    I was 37 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 39 when I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and I am now 44.

    Walking to raise awareness of metastatic breast cancer and the research we so desperately need is important to me.

    I fear dying and leaving my family.

    Sponsored by Eisai

    Model Brynn standing up against the wall smiling

    Meet Brynn

    I have been diagnosed with breast cancer twice, 20 years apart.

    It is important to me to bring awareness to this disease at any stage. I walk to share my journey to inspire and help others with their journey.

    Being a two-time survivor, my fear is a recurrence.

    Selfie of model Cathy

    Meet Cathy 

    I was 48 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  

    I walk to feel empowered and to inspire others to stand strong and take back control of their situation 

    I fear this is taking over my life, so I am making radical lifestyle changes, letting go, and trusting the journey. 

    Sponsored by NYBRA

    Model Clara up against the wall wearing a tutu

    Meet Clara

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36. 

    When I was diagnosed I didn’t find anyone I could identify with as a young Latina going through BCA, which is probably why its the #1 cause of death in Latinas under 40. Its a taboo subject which is why I created the TE TOCA TOCARTE movement! Tocate para que no te toque! CANCER brought me to my feet and taught me that the word CAN is written in the word cancer! YOU can fight, YOU can overcome and YOU can find your voice!

    My biggest fear is that the cancer returns. 


    Model Tripp sitting on city steps outside smiling

    Meet Tripp 

    I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Breast Cancer in 2015 at age 36.  

    During treatment, I realized that my community was being under served due to lack of information. This combined with my family history of breast cancer pushed me to become an advocate and to fight for those that couldn’t fight for themselves.  

    I fear my time being cut short, my grandmothers out-living me, and having to be a co-survivor to someone I love.  


    Model Shay shirtless wearing a flower hat

    Meet Shay 

    I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer at age 26. Ten years later, I was told that my breast cancer had returned. I am a two-time survivor.  

    I’m here to raise awareness – if I hadn’t found my own lump on both occasions, chances are I wouldn’t have lived to see age 40. 

    I fear my daughters or granddaughters having to fear or face Breast Cancer.

    Model Paige standing with hand over breasts

    Meet Paige 

    was diagnosed with the BRCA 1 genetic mutation and underwent a preventative bilateral mastectomy at 24 years old. 

    I believe that our health journeys don’t have to be so scary and that none of us should have to navigate any of this alone. I am a four-time Emmy award winning producer, advocate for women’s health and empowerment, co-founder of The Breasties, brand consultant, wellness entrepreneur, churro connoisseur and describes myself as everybody’s breast friend! 

    I fear not living up to my full potential.

    Model Christina hair flowing in the wind, smirking

    Meet Christina

    I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer at age 28. Just last year, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

    Hearing stories of metastatic patients traveling the world, raising their families...thriving, along with news of promising new treatments and trials, made me feel like anything could be possible again. I want to be a part of something that helps other metastatic patients pick themselves off the floor and rise again.

    My greatest fear is the loss of my physical and mental well-being from the progression of metastatic disease.


    Model Ella up close with hands over head

    Meet Ella 

    I never make music when I am feeling lost and I don’t need to get lost to make music. I wait until I get inspired and then start writing new music. I wish that feeling never stopped before I’m able to finish a song, but unfortunately, to finish a song the right way takes a lot of time and sometimes the music just stays stuck in your head. 

    My biggest fear is to lose someone I love. 


    Model Lolita sitting on a circular cylinder looking over

    Meet Lolita

    I’m a Body Confidence Coach, Life Coach and Runway Boss.

    I use the art of runway walking as a form of empowerment to help people strut through life’s challenges. I teach the secrets of creating a commanding presence, one that builds confidence and transforms the lives of people of all ages. With my training, people from all walks of life become graceful, agile and fluid on their feet.

    I fear leaving this earth without completing my journey.


    CEO Dana standing with arms crossed

    Meet Dana 

    I founded AnaOno after I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at the age of 27.  

    Our efforts are focused on highlighting new conversations within the breast cancer community. This year's breast cancer fashion show is called #fearLESS and we are looking to bridge the gap between early-stagers and late-stagers. If we cannot work together and support one another we will not prevail in closing the gaps of many disparities in our own community.  

    I fear not making a big enough difference in the time I have here on earth.

    Model Beth standing with hands crossed

    Meet Beth 

    I was diagnosed with de novo metastatic breast cancer in 2014.

    I am a professional tattoo artist specializing in areola complex tattooing for patients who have experienced ready surgery and I also serve on the board of directors for METAvivor Research & Support as Immediate Past President and Director of #Cancerland. My focus is raising awareness for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and driving fundraising efforts for MBC research. 

    I fear that my daughters will one day face a breast cancer diagnosis and that I will not be here to hold their hands and offer encouragement and support through such a difficult time.  


    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.