Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Save the date for Beautifully Loved fashion show of teens with cancer, blood disorders

Nicole Villalpando
nvillalpando@statesman.com
Ayden Sanchez models a prom dress at the Beautifully Loved fashion show in 2017. [Erika Rich for American-Statesman]

Being a teen is hard. Being a teen with cancer or a blood disorder, that’s another level.

Next month, 28 kids ages 12-21, who are being treated by Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center, will walk the runway in clothes from local boutiques.

The annual Beautifully Loved fashion show benefits the Hungry Bunch, a social group that offers monthly events to get kids out of the clinic or hospital environment. The Hungry Bunch earned that name when the kids went out to eat and were asked to give a name for their order, and one of them told the restaurant to just call them “the hungry bunch.” It stuck.

The fashion show grew out of another Hungry Bunch event, the annual prom. Austin stylist Aysa Province was volunteering at the prom and saw how much that event did for the kids. “They light up,” she told us in 2017. She knew she could put together her connections with local boutiques and hair and makeup stylists and create a fashion show for the kids. “I thought I could pair my two passions — fashions and these kids — to create another event where they could be pampered and be celebrated.”

It’s always an uplifting event.

“It’s an opportunity to feel confident,” participant Cami Eagle told us in 2017. Cami was diagnosed when she was 10 months old with the rare blood disorder congenital dyserythropoietic anemia type 1, which causes too much iron to be in her blood. “People are clapping for us. You grow up in a hospital gown. You get to feel confident in something you picked out.”

This year, Beautifully Loved is 4-7 p.m. Feb. 16 at Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St. Tickets are $10-$25. beautifullyloved.org