Fashion show gives shout out for Asian women empowerment

Models who were trauma or cancer survivors walked in the fifth benefit fashion show CelebrAsians on Oct. 27 at Boston Medical Center. (Image courtesy of Eddie Vo.) 

The fifth “CelebrAsians” fashion show for Asian Women for Health (AWFH) was held on Oct. 27 at Boston Medical Center. The benefit featured fashion and dance performances. More than 60 attendees celebrated the empowerment of Asian cancer and trauma survivors.

The fashion show started with a flamenco dance by Yoshi Karahashi and Bonnie Wong. Karahashi is a Japanese-born dancer and choreographer who traveled to Spain to fulfill her dream of studying flamenco.

“Women are seen as the center of the family — we are the ones that take care of the family, the elderly, relatives and our parents. There is a lot of pressure on Asian women, especially Asian American women, that we have a higher rate of depression. That’s why we need to offer special care to Asian women,” said Lindee Goh, AWFH vice president.

The fashion show models were cancer and trauma survivors. Some of them survived sexual abuse or childhood isolation, and other women survived breast cancers of different stages. Emcee Audrey Paek explained how much courage these women have to endure physical illness or psychological trauma. Many of the women are fully recovered, enjoying happy lives with families and pursuing higher life goals, such as music or public health.

Chien-chi Huang, founder and executive director of AWFH, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2005 at age 40. With support from her loved ones and friends, she overcame many obstacles and committed to helping women of similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds. She launched Asian Breast Cancer Project in 2010 to make sure women in similar situations did not feel isolated and had access to treatment. Huang established AWFH for Asian women by advocating, educating and offering access to medical care and support.

There was a live painting by Jonathan Zuker of Conquer Cancer Coalition. A silent auction also attracted attendees.

AWFH is a peer-led, community-based network dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health and wellness through education, advocacy, and support. They envision Asian women are well-informed, have access to care that is culturally appropriate and high quality, and inspired to live happy, healthy lives.

Models and allies were all smiles at the fashion show CelebrAsians. (Image courtesy of Eddie Vo.)

Survivors attend the fashion show CelebrAsians. (Image courtesy of Eddie Vo.)

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