LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The world of fashion and fundraising are coming together to grant one Lafayette woman's wish.
McCutcheon High School student Chloe Caldwell,18, was diagnosed with cancer at age 16. The Lafayette-based Wish Gala and Fashion Show is helping send her to France.
“This has been my dream since my freshman year,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell's dream to study abroad in France was put on hold just before her 17th birthday.
“She one night said she had chest pains and the next day we were in Riley (Hospital for Children) and they said she had a ten-centimeter mass in her chest and they started chemotherapy the next week,” said Denise Caldwell, Chloe’s mother.
Caldwell was diagnosed with Stage Two Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Wish Gala and Fashion Show has been a major fundraiser for Greater Lafayette Make-A-Wish kids since 2013. Caldwell is now the next to benefit.
“It just kind of shows how much Make-A-Wish really cares about its people and just the amount that a community can come together to support children who have struggled a lot,” said Caldwell.
This fashion show is primarily run on donations and volunteering. Owners of the New Journey Farms venue offered the event space for free, local boutiques provided the outfits, MoMichelle Makeup and Lola Hair Artistry provided their services free of charge, Phoenix Catering supplied free food, the models are high school students volunteering their time and those in attendance are people willing to give.
“We just kind of started, it was originally with a boutique that was in town that the owner had passed away, she was a friend of mine and Make-A-Wish was really near and dear to her heart,” said Sarah Parent, event coordinator.
Parent said it only made sense to honor her friend through mixing the world of fashion and fundraising by incorporating local businesses.
“We said let's come together and have everybody do a fashion show for Make-A-Wish because it really impacts families that are going through something really hard,” said Parent.
This year's fashion show raised more than $8,000 for Caldwell's trip.
“It's incredibly overwhelming that they would do this to make Chloe's wish come true,” said Frank Caldwell, Chloe’s father.
Caldwell plans to use this wish for an educational opportunity. Her dream job is to become a foreign language teacher.
“Being able to communicate to people is something that's really important throughout all aspects of life and learning a different language opens you up to so many different people,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell is in the stage of remission, which means she's currently cancer free. She will graduate from McCutcheon High School this spring. She leaves for France in June and she'll stay for six weeks.