Cancer survivor walking runway at Dallas fashion show Friday

By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

Mar. 28, 2007 - Just like the theme for this year's annual Dallas fund raiser for pediatric cancer research, Sulphur Springs survivor Kendall Smith is considered a "Ray of Sunshine and Hope" by those who know and love her.

The 18-year-old daughter of Michael and Susan Smith, diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in January 2006, will participate in this year's 19th Annual Beyond The Rainbow Luncheon and Fashion Show at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 30, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel.

"I'm excited about the Children's Cancer Fund fashion show because I love to dress up and get cute," said Kendall, a senior at Sulphur Springs High School.

Children's Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, hosts the event each year.

This year's theme, "Rays of Sunshine and Hope," will have Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Emmitt Smith joining corporate sponsors as celebrity escorts presenting survivors, as well as children currently undergoing treatment, in the special runway show sponsored by Dillard's.

Native Texan and award-winning children's musician Sara Hickman will be performing at the event.

"The children who participate in the luncheon are so brave," said Alexis  Westbrook, with VGS Marketing Group Public & Media Relations. "They are the stars of this event."

Also featured each year is the Children's Cancer Fund Calendar created by pediatric patients and inspired by their personal experiences with cancer. This year's calendar will include the original artwork of 19 young calendar artists, including that of Kendall Smith, whose work is entitled "Strength and Spirit."

"It represents not only what it takes to get through cancer, but what it takes to get through life," explained Kendall, who hopes to become a biomedical engineer.

A tennis player at SSHS, Kendall also enjoys making home music videos with her friends, watching movies and being spontaneous.

"She's a really funny kid and has had such a wonderful attitude through this whole thing," said her mother, Susan, who was thrilled to add that Kendall just had her three-month check up and received news that her cancer was all gone.

The 2007-2008 calendar will be presented as a gift to all those attending the fashion show and luncheon. Anyone not attending the fundraiser but interested in purchasing a calendar can do so by logging on to the website below. The cost of the calendar is $15.

Tickets for the fashion show and luncheon are $125 per individual or $1,150 per table of 10. Reservations can be made by calling 214-442-1691 or online at www.childrenscancerfund.net.

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