MILWAUKEE — The Women for MACC annual Designed to Inspire fundraiser (formerly Couture for a Cure) is back after being postponed last year due to the pandemic.
The event aims to raise over $100,000 for the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer), which funds research to help find cures for childhood cancer and related blood disorders.
Becky Pinter, the president and CEO of the MACC Fund, said the money raised during Designed to Inspire "translates into dollars that we need for the kids, that you're going to see and so many others."
Designed to Inspire includes a silent auction, a wine draw and a fashion show featuring kids who are fighting cancer. Talia Hernandez was one of the kids featured this year.
It's a day her mom, Heidi, wasn't sure would be possible when Talia was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the age of 3.
"You think back to that time and you don't know if you're going to make it in many ways. But to be here today, is definitely something that many of us parents hope to be part of and show our kids that they're strong," an emotional Heidi said.
Talia had her kidney and tumor removed and also endured chemotherapy and radiation.
"I had to drink yucky medicine and that's what made my hair fall out, but it growed back," Talia said about what she remembers from getting treatment.
She finished chemotherapy in September of 2019, but still has to see her oncologist and team of doctors every three months. Heidi said those visits will likely continue for years to come. But the MACC Fund and Women for MACC have been there for the Hernandez family through it all.
"I have so many blessings to give to them. They helped to save her life and they have been there for us through everything," Heidi said.
Pinter said the MACC Fund does what it does "to see these kids grow up, go to school, graduate from high school, go to college, get married and have families of their own."
Because of the MACC Fund, Talia will get to grow up and already has big plans for her future.
"I want to be an actor when I grow up, and what I'm going to act is being an artist," Talia said.