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Fashion heals

MANILA, Philippines — Tonight, young cancer patients take on the Shangri-La Fort Ballroom runway in Mark Bumgarner, Rajo Laurel, Andrea Tetangco, Martin Bautista and Avel Bacudio.

Fashion inspires and connects. Sheila Romero, herself a cancer warrior and one of the Philippines’ most stylish, has been paying it forward with her sisters and closest friends since they founded I Want To Share Foundation in 2013.

While I Want To Share has helped juvenile cancer patients through funding their medicines, MRI tests, securing second opinions from doctors abroad, and transporting them and their families from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, I Want To Share also cheers them on in their battles by granting some of their most exciting dreams as young people.

“It is my goal to leave a positive impact and a difference in the lives of the Filipino people,” says Romero.

Tonight at the I Want To Share Charity Gala, 25 children who have been healed or are in the process of healing will walk the Shangri-La the Fort Grand Ballroom runway as they “Shine” in specially designed pieces by Mark Bumgarner, Rajo Laurel, Andrea Tetangco, Martin Bautista, and Avel Bacudio for 550 confirmed guests.

“Every year, there are 600 kids that strongly finish chemotherapy. We celebrate this milestone by providing them an avenue to graduate like normal students,” says Romero. “Last December 2022, we had 150 graduates who fought, believed, and beat cancer.”

Just like some of the country’s most prestigious fashion events, “Shine” will be directed by fashion show director Robby Carmona, who is a long-time trustee of the foundation.

The I Want To Share Foundation has steadily grown from a small fundraiser into a transformative institution. Since 2015, their mission has been dedicated to turning extraordinary dreams into reality with the “Shine! Dreams Do Come True” program, fulfilling the young warriors’ desire to experience a prom alongside sought-after actors and actresses, becoming stars in their own right.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, they were able to launch the “I Want to Share my Hair” campaign, opening a door for these children to reclaim a part of themselves: their crown of hair. I Want To Share lends a hand to 600 young cancer patients every year and helps them finish chemotherapy.

But their work is far from over. Helping improve survival rates from every angle, I Want to Share Foundation is raising funds for the Childhood Cancer HelpLine, a newly launched initiative that aims to increase the country’s cancer survival rate from only 30 percent nationwide to at least 60 percent by helping young warriors find the strength and resources to thrive beyond their diagnosis. Of the 5,300 Filipino children who develop cancer yearly, many are undiagnosed, consult late, refuse or abandon treatment.

The foundation will also pave the way for the establishment of two specialized rooms and a nurturing nurse's station at the Bone Marrow Transplant Center in PGH, a visionary endeavor that promises hope and healing for children with cancer in the Philippines.

Those who wish to help during the gala can do so during a live auction of artwork and jewelry featuring the works of master sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz, contemporary artist Andres Barrioquinto, and Dino Gabito, who have donated 100 percent of their profits to the cause.

“It’s time for bigger things and greater goals,” challenges Romero. “Let’s help cancer patients continue to live, laugh, and love. Let’s leave a legacy that they will treasure forever.”

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Follow @iwanttosharefoundation across all social media platforms for updates.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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