AUSTIN, Texas – Kids got to walk the runway in the eighth annual fashion show put on by the Austin non-profit Beautifully Loved.
The organization’s mission is to improve the confidence of families dealing with chronic illness.
All the models, ages 3-20, are survivors or in treatment for long term medical conditions. There were 38 participants in the show.
“They’re all going through a medical journey that can take a toll on your mental health, your emotional health, your physical health, in so many ways,” Aysa Province, founder of Beautifully Loved, said.
14-year-old Aminah Elam is one of the models walking in the show.
“It’s very fun. Very confidence boosting. It’s a really great experience to be a part of,” she said.
Elam has been in remission for a couple of years after going through chemo and radiation for a brain tumor. This is her third time walking in the fashion show.
“It’s really inspiring. It’s like anything can come my way and I’d know how to deal with it,” she said.
Local boutiques, salons, and other organizations help put the event on. Models pick their own outfits and have their hair and makeup done.
“Being primped and pampered, that’s my favorite part,” Elam said.
“Today they’re not their diagnosis, they are their beautiful selves, and the community gets to come and celebrate them, and show them how loved and amazing they are,” Province said.
Every child has their moment to shine.
“I just feel blessed that I’m able to give these beautiful kids a day where they’re not that cancer kid, or the kid from Dell Children’s. They’re showing their true selves through their style and their fashion and their smiles, and I just love it so much,” Province said.
As for any child in treatment, Elam says, “my advice is just to keep going really. It does get better, and it will become easier at some point in time. You just got to be there for that.”
FOX 7 Austin was one of the event sponsors.