I first heard of fashion brand Claire Farwell London when I saw a photo of actress Fiona Gubelmann carrying one of our bags and wearing a Claire Farwell-designed dress. I connected with Claire and we decided to collaborate on a trunk show to benefit Sense of Security California, a non-profit organization which assists women battling breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancers. A portion of the evening’s fashion sales were donated to SOSC.

Sense of Security California (SOSC) was founded by Cathy Sisneros Chung in 2010 after her sister Darlene’s battle with breast cancer revealed how expensive a cancer diagnosis can be. Darlene learned in July 2000 she had breast cancer at the age of 39.

"A diagnosis of breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancers can impose heavy financial burdens on patients and their families,” Cathy said. “In September 2001, my husband Steve’s first wife, Susan, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer; she was 42. Susan lost her battle in December 2004 and Darlene in August 2012. Our story is not unique. So many other families face these same agonizing diagnoses with a family member or dear friend.

“We know firsthand how expensive a cancer diagnosis can be,” Cathy continued. “If you are lucky enough to have private health insurance you face high co-pays for your medications. Many of the women we serve have to turn to government assistance and are making choices of paying for their medications or feeding their families. Most of the women cannot work during their treatment. It is not surprising what an unbearable burden this can be on many families.”

Sense of Security California provides comprehensive, sustained financial assistance to meet basic living expense for median- to low-income patients while in treatment. Few organizations in California serve non-medical financial needs for patients with breast cancer, and almost no organizations focus on ovarian and other gynecological cancers. Of these organizations, their focus is primarily limited to emergency funding.

Cancer had touched the lives of many of the women involved in putting on the event. In addition to Cathy’s experiences, my mother had breast cancer, and our hostess, Claire Fedder, has a sister currently living with breast cancer. Some of the evening’s models had also battled cancer. Claire Farwell herself, a former model – she lived and worked with Naomi Campbell in Paris in the 1980s – triumphed over breast cancer and a double mastectomy. She spoke openly about it for the U.K. Daily Mail earlier this year. In 2011, while still in remission, Claire organized a fund-raising event to support breast cancer charities and later created her eponymous fashion brand. “Breast cancer gave me this creativity, and now I’m building a brand I’m so passionate about.

Sense of Security California provides assistance to cancer patients and their families so they can better focus on their health. Donations to Sense of Security California can be made at the organization’s website, www.senseofsecurityus.org.

 

SOSC trunk show model Dejuana Champion-Griffin
SOSC trunk show model Dejuana Champion-Griffin wears Claire Farwell London and carries Jill Milan.
 
 
Claire Farwell with attendees and models at SOSC trunk show benefit Oct 24 2014
Claire Farwell with attendees and models at SOSC trunk show benefit.
 
 
Margaret Maloney (left) with Claire Fedder, the evening's hostess.
Margaret Maloney (left) with Claire Fedder, the evening's hostess.