NATICK (CBS) – Lining the walls of a former dance studio in Natick are timeless fashions now up for auction. The money will benefit metastatic breast cancer research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Metastatic Breast Cancer is cancer that spreads outside the breast to other parts of the body. It is the only incurable form of breast cancer.
The woman spearheading the effort knows, firsthand, how valuable research is. Carol Chaoui battled breast cancer in 2009, thyroid cancer in 2014 and then, in 2015, after experiencing pain in her hip, discovered that the breast cancer was back…and spreading. “To my lungs, my hips, my skull and my spine,” she said. “It had become metastatic breast cancer. And for that reason, I’m on treatment for the rest of my life.”
Advancements in medicine have provided patients with new drugs, but Chaoui hopes money raised through the auction (and last month’s Vintage Vogue Fashion Show) will help scientists develop drugs with fewer, less toxic side effects.
A longtime fan of vintage clothing, Chaoui also used the fashion show to educate. She calls it a “labor of love.” The models included friends, nurses and other patients.
To look at metastatic breast cancer patients, Chaoui explains, is to see someone who may appear perfectly healthy. What’s shocking, she says, is how little funding (7%) is directed toward metastatic diseases.
The fashion show and auction are fun events with a serious mission. Planning them, she says, gave her a boost that helped take her mind off her own treatment. “It was definitely a good focus to start working on this,” she said. “And also just to have something to look forward to.”
She has big plans after the auction, too.
Chaoui, a mother of four whose nickname is “Wonder Woman” is now looking forward to running the New York Marathon.
And planning next year’s Vintage Vogue fashion show.
The Vintage Vogue online auction runs through October 13.