JEFFERSON — Women from across the county convened at Jefferson Landing Saturday, June 1, participating in the third annual Jen Houck Fashion, Fun and Feelings Fashion Show, organized by Ashe Memorial Hospital and Libby’s.
The show was renamed to honor Houck after she died of cancer just before last year’s event. Houck was an occupational therapist in AMH’s rehabilitation department.
Tickets to the show were $35, and all proceeds went to benefit the AMH Cancer Center. Additionally, brunch was served, and attendees were invited to peruse and buy from the large assortment of Libby’s clothing, shoes and jewelry set up on site, with a portion of those proceeds being donated to the cancer center, as well.
The fashion show featured five models showcasing the latest fashion trends from Libby’s, and the event was hosted by owner Libby Cockerham herself. Models included Brenda Reeves, Jennifer Greene, BJ Detweiler, Star Kiser and Katie Goodin.
Before the models walked throughout the tables at Jefferson Landing, AMH CEO Laura Lambeth introduced Keynote Speaker Cathy Clark, FNP-BC, who works in Medical Oncology.
Clark spoke with the sold out crowd about her time with breast cancer.
“I was doing breast exams at home once a week,” Clark said. “The reason I was doing them so frequently was because I had some itching, which was really strange.”
Clark continued, adding that many people associate breast cancer with pain, but sometimes it’s a tickle. She also noted how tired she became during that portion of her life.
“I thought I was burning out at work,” Clark said. “I thought I was working too hard. We went on vacation, and, the whole time I was there, everybody was catching pictures of me being asleep.”
When she returned home, Clark said she did not get a mammogram like she should have. Instead, she did months later, when she argued with her doctor about needing an ultrasound.
“I was like, ‘Nah, I’ll be alright,’” Clark said. “He said ‘No, you really need it.’ So I go, and there’s this mass. I roll over when the ultrasound tech is ultrasounding my breasts, and I’m thinking, ‘That looks like a gingerbread baby with horns.’”
Clark would later have a biopsy and an MRI, before having two masses, one cancerous and one precancerous, removed.
During her battle with cancer, Clark said the biggest relief was not having to travel outside of the county for access to a cancer center, due to AMH.
“When Laura (Lambeth) asked if I would be interested in becoming a nurse practitioner over at oncology, i knew that was going to be my other home,” Clark said. “It has become my other home.”