University Medical Center Foundation hosted the “Taking Breast Cancer to Heart Luncheon and Fashion Show” Thursday morning as Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close.

Organization leaders say the proceeds of Taking Breast Cancer to Heart will cover co-pays, transportation, medications and more for breast cancer patients in the borderland who are in danger of falling out of their cancer care regimen due to finances.

With the Susan G. Komen El Paso affiliate no longer in the community, UMC Foundation leaders say there is a void to be filled in this community and therefore they need to step up.

“There are still over 1,000 new breast cancer diagnoses here in El Paso and of those, there are about 450 who are in need,” UMC Foundation Executive Director, Dennece Knight said. “They are literally in between choosing ‘am I buying groceries or am I buying meds, am I finishing my treatments’.”

Models who walked the runway were referred to as Celebrity Advocate Models. Many who participated were cancer survivors, breast cancer patients, or people from the community honoring a friend or loved one.

The UMC Foundation said three models are breast cancer survivors and patients of University Medical Center of El Paso.

“This has been a long journey, a hard journey but I’m so blessed but as of August 15 I’m cancer free, but I still have to continue with my treatment,” said breast cancer patient Joan Inge.

Patients and organizers also emphasized the importance of self-exams and mammograms for women to catch cancerous breast cells at early stages.

The clothes worn on the runway were donated by Ella Blu Boutique in El Paso and hair and makeup was done by Foliage Salon.