Photo Illustration By Andoni Flores

Fifteen of Fairfield University’s own students spent their Thursday evening fighting- against cancer that is. Held in the Oak Room on Nov. 11, 2010, the 6th annual fashion show hosted by Colleges Against Cancer featured five male and ten female models rocking the latest fashions. Among these styles were FU logoed pajama pants, winter hats and hooded sweaters from the bookstore. Apart from this, a majority of the trendy outfits were purchased from local boutiques such as Winged Monkey, Cargo Bay, Swim ‘N Surf and LF.

Before the fashion show began, I was able to get a peek backstage to see the models in action. While they were scurrying through racks of clothing and making final touches to hair and makeup, I had the opportunity to meet the heads of Colleges Against Cancer. Samantha Bacque ‘12, the president of the organization, works alongside with secretary, Jackie Cestaro. Both, who are upperclassmen of Fairfield University, took a brief moment to explain the purpose of the show.

As you may have already figured out, Colleges Against Cancer created this extravaganza with the objective of raising money for cancer research. The proceeds gained during the event will be used towards Relay for Life, an annual event that will be hosted again on campus on April 30, 2011. The profit that will be made from Relay for Life will then go to The American Cancer Society, better known as ACS.

One of the most interesting and very important parts of the fashion show was the speech that a senior at Fairfield University, Brianna Kouri, presented. Being a former victim of skin cancer, she was able to share her experience with melanoma, which is a dangerous form of skin disease. Before studying abroad, Brianna came across an unfamiliar mole on her foot. After a visit to the dermatologist, she was told that this was a sign of melanoma. Finding it early, Brianna was able to have surgery in order to remove the mole. After returning from oversees, she spotted yet another unrecognizable mole on her skin. Once again, it was surgically removed. After this reoccurrence, Brianna was constantly aware of any changes on her skin. The overall message that I found most essential is to constantly examine your skin and be on the lookout for anything that is unusual.

Fortunately, Brianna mentioned the importance of treating your skin well, meaning that those excessive hours in the tanning booth is not the best way to care for your body, although it might make you look good! If you are a person who loves to spend hours outside in the sun, take precaution by wearing hats and putting sun-block on to avoid the intensity of the sun. If you happen to find something irregular on your body, do not ignore it and allow it to get worse. Instead, set up an appointment with your primary doctor or dermatologist who can accurately determine if the abnormality is a sign of greater disease and needs to be treated. As Brianna’s story proves, the earlier something is noticed and checked, the better.

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