November 5, 2019 was the 37th Annual Couture for a Cure hosted by Women for MACC in downtown Milwaukee. The Women for MACC partnered with Gigi, featuring exquisite designs by Peter Langner, for a premier fashion show, complete with a silent auction, wine pull, boutique shops and a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency. More than 500 Milwaukee area professionals, community leaders, and youth advocates gathered for one cause: raising money for life-changing childhood cancer and related blood disorders research. Erin Dove, member of the MACC Fund ELB, had this to say about the event, “Women for MACC’s Couture for a Cure event is not only one of my favorite events throughout the year, but one of my favorite days. This was my sixth year attending Couture and I enjoyed it as much as previous years. It’s a great time to connect with family, friends, coworkers, and community all with the same goal in mind – raising money in the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders.”
Out on the Runway
While the runway was filled with models from Gigi, it was also walked by a very special group of people. Several childhood cancer and related blood disorders fighters and survivors were present to share their stories and walk the runway to their favorite songs. Courtney Miles’ son, Bo, was one of them. “We were honored to be a part of Couture for a Cure. The energy in the room and the support for our kids was overwhelming. It’s such an amazing event that comes with so many emotions!” Courtney told us. She also said that Bo had such a great time, that he may have found a new profession—modeling! “He had so much fun walking the runway and keeps asking when he can do it again. Now I need to get him an agent!” Courtney jokingly said.
Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. At the event, Women for MACC showcased the story of the Mertens’ family. Their daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a highly aggressive brain tumor found in children. Gliomas are found in the brain stem, which is involved in critical body functions. Since DIPG is so rare and highly aggressive, there were very few options for Emma’s family. Her parents, Geoff and Tammy, decided that their best option was to make her as comfortable as possible.
The Team Emma—Emma Loves Dogs Facebook page announced that Emma passed away on November 17th in her parents’ arms. “More work is needed, we need more people involved, and we need more funding”, Geoff said. “This just needs to move up the priority list. Not just because of our daughter, but because children shouldn’t be facing this.” To learn more about Emma, see the video below.
A Huge Achievement
Thanks to the highly motivated individuals who attended, as well as the hard work done by Women for MACC co-chairs Alicia Buttchen and Katie Wosick, the event raised a record-breaking amount for childhood cancer and related blood disorders research. In total, $110,000 was raised, over $10,000 more than last year. We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of Women for MACC and hope that with help we can someday see cure rates for these diseases at 100%.