Jacksonville fashion show fundraiser raises thousands of dollars for cancer patients

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) - Southeastern Cancer Care held its annual fashion show fundraiser at Discover Church in Jacksonville Friday evening.

Those attending and walking the runway say events like this are crucial to getting local patients the help they need.

"Everybody needs help that's going through cancer" said Brenda Collins, who is a cancer survivor.

A night of gowns, glitz, and glamour raised $35,000 for local cancer patients who cannot work during their treatment, a time when medical bills rack up.

Medical experts say, on average, cancer patients with insurance will still pay $5,000-$10,000 for their treatment. Without insurance, experts say patients can have a bill of more than $100,000 dollars for chemotherapy.

This comes at a time, for many, when the physical ailments of cancer prevent them from bringing home a paycheck.

"Most people who come to our clinic are working full time jobs, 40 hours a week or more, and they're not able to do that work while they're getting treatment. The reason they can't is because they're too tired. They're too nauseous. They're in pain", said Dr. Nagesh Jayaram of Southeastern Medical Oncology.

Southeastern Cancer Care, a non-profit organization, steps in to help patients with little things, like gas money. The people they help say it makes a big difference.

“I drove all the way from Cape Carteret to Onslow County for treatment, so that gas card was a blessing to me”, added Collins.

Southeastern Cancer Care has helped more than 1000 patients in Eastern North Carolina by raising $1.5 million in the 8 years they've been working for the cause.