Cancer Center Fundraiser was de la Renta's Farewell

CURE, Winter 2014, Volume 13, Issue 4

Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta showcased cancer survivors at a charity function before his death in October.

Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, 82, died on Oct. 20 of complications related to cancer. Initially diagnosed in 2006, de la Renta continued to work during his bouts with intermittent cancer. He built his couture empire over several decades, dressing socialites, first ladies and Hollywood celebrities. In February 2014, he staged a Designed for a Cure fashion event to raise money for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami, where he had received treatment for his own disease. During the runway event, his highend fashion was modeled by patients, survivors and their physicians.

Doug Ulman, cancer survivor and former CEO of LIVESTRONG, has accepted the role of president and CEO of Pelotonia, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center’s cycling mega-fundraiser. Billed as the largest cycling fundraiser in the United States with more than 7,000 riders in 2014, the annual three-day event raised more than $61 million in its first five years.

During an October luncheon hosted by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Barbara Walters, former co-host of The View, disclosed that she underwent a lumpectomy on her breast several years ago. Last year, Walters revealed she’d had both ovaries removed due to a family history of ovarian cancer.

Singer and songwriter Amy Grant wrote “Welcome Yourself,” a ballad about a friend’s bout with breast cancer. The song, which was performed at the beginning of Atlanta’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer event, is available via iTunes. Seventy-seven cents of each sale will go to the American Cancer Society.

A crowd-funded documentary called Be Here Now, detailing actor Andy Whitfield’s life with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is expected to be released in early 2015. Whitfield, who was the lead actor in Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, was diagnosed with the blood cancer before the second season and died from a recurrence in 2011.

Guitarist Wilko Johnson, also known for playing the role of Ser Ilyn Payne on the TV show Game of Thrones, has announced that he is cancer- free after surgery for pancreatic cancer. Johnson, formerly of the band Dr Feelgood, was diagnosed in 2013 and underwent an 11-hour operation during which a six-pound tumor was removed. While accepting the Q Icon Award during the Q Awards ceremony in Britain in October, Johnson said the operation had cured him.