Culture & Lifestyle / Fashion Heals For SickKids Showcased Support For The Wonderful Work At The Hospital For SickKids

Fashion Heals For SickKids Showcased Support For The Wonderful Work At The Hospital For SickKids

Culture & Lifestyle Oct 14, 2019

The Fifth Annual Fashion Heals For SickKids saw some magnificent models walk the runway, memorable performances by Karl Wolf and Craig Scott Smart, delicious food, and a fundraising agenda!

An evening with fashion, entertainment, delicious food, fundraising, and a group of adorable kids – well, that was the Fifth Annual Fashion Heals Show to support The Hospital For SickKids in a nutshell. The one-of-a-kind fashion show had SickKids patients – children and adults alike – and their devoted doctors and clinicians walk the ramp.

The event is in support of the hospital’s Innovation Grant for Paediatric Cancer Care and Research and the ongoing SickKids VS Limits campaign to build a new Sick Kids. In chic clothes and utmost swagger, the models received thunderous claps and non-stop applause from the audience. Their goal is to raise $1 million CAD by 2024. So far they have raised $260,000 CAD which has helped fund the following:

Dr. Jennifer Stinson has found ways to ease this anxiety by immersing patients in a virtual reality experience during certain procedures.

Neuropathologist Dr. Cynthia Hawkins has created testing that accomplishes just this, thereby enabling doctors to give patients the right treatment at the right time.

They all had stylists MT Meikle and Irene Kim from Toronto’s premier fashion consultancy, La Closette to thank, for they curated all the designs for the models. Talking about putting together the clothes for the models, Irene Kim, explained, “The show is all about the kids and we make sure they feel their best in whatever they wear. Yes, it is a lot about clothes and style, but we just want the kids to feel confident and strong in what they wear.” The evening saw powerful performances by Lebanese-Canadian singer, Karl Wolf, and Canadian singer-songwriter, Craig Scott Smart.

Fashion Heals For SickKids
Fashion Heals For SickKids: The hosts for the evening, hosts of  The Social, and co-hosts of the evening, Melissa Grelo and Jess Allen, Photo Credit: Vai Yu Law

The show was brimming with enthusiasm, thanks to the hosts and two fabulous women — Melissa Grelo and Jess Allen of CTV’s The Social. The duo added charm, and humour to the already exciting show. It was a very emotional moment for the duo when the models came up.  Jess noted, “my face hurts from all the smiling but my eyes are tearing up. After the show, you just want to go back home and hug everyone and be thankful. We are glad we had a rehearsal before the show so we could manage the emotional rollercoaster. I am going to take back all the happy faces.”

It has been an extraordinary journey for the entire team. From 1875, when Elizabeth McMaster and a group of women rented an 11-room house and started the hospital till today — it has been an extraordinary journey. “It is an internationally recognized institution with research coming out that is unparalleled. I am just glad I am part of this celebration,” added Jess.

Fashion Heals For SickKids
Fashion Heals For SickKids: (L-R) Elke Rubach, the founder of Fashion Heals, Stephanie Clayton, member of the Children’s Council, and Dr. Ronald Cohn, the President, and CEO of The Hospital for SickKids. Photo Credit: Vai Yu Law

How many shows have patients walk the runway and capture the spectators with their spell? Exactly. None. It is hard to name shows. The concept is unique and Elke Rubach, the founder of Fashion Heals can safely take credits for it, “It all started five years ago. The idea was to change the way we bring attention to “giving back” to society. We thought instead of the traditional way of galas and dinners – let’s bring the spotlight on the lives of the children. Let’s make the night for them. Yes, it is a fashion show – but the kids can shine that night. It is also a chance for their family to see their kid walk the runway, a kid who might not have made it,” expressed Elke.

Fashion Heals For SickKids
Fashion Heals For SickKids: Miranda and Nash, the cutest duo that walked the ramp, Photo credit: Maggie Devereux

He walked the ramp, he brought a smile on every child’s face, and he was a charmer throughout the evening – Dr. Ronald Cohn. He is the President and CEO of The Hospital for SickKids and spoke to us about the event. He said, “There are no words that can express I feel. It is heartwarming to see the kids I take care of every day and make them feel better — to come up on stage and show so much energy. I know all their struggles and to forget all that and show this confidence is amazing. Events like these are personal that can tell a story to people that they can relate to. When you share a personal story — it elevates the level of people understanding the issue that these kids are dealing with every single day.”

For Stephanie Clayton, SickKids holds a very special place. She has been a SickKids patient since she was one hour old and calls herself a ‘professional in the field’. “Knowing that everyone is here to support us and is awesome. Every year, this is a special event and that which is close to my heart.”

Fashion Heals For SickKids
Fashion Heals For SickKids:  Sick Kids patient ambassador Stephanie Clayton (L) walked the ramp, Photo credit: Maggie Devereux

But is a fashion show too frivolous for a cause with such magnitude and intensity? Melissa rubbished the claims and said, “When you come to the show and see things in person, you will change your mind. For those kids who have overcome all odds and kids who are still fighting with diseases today – this show gives them a chance to not think about their illness for a minute. You might think fashion is frivolous – but what is a luxury for us is an opportunity for them to forget all their troubles for a minute and for us to celebrate them in their journey right now. You put on the music and the clothes and put your hands together and celebrate them.”

Fashion Heals For SickKids
Fashion Heals For SickKids: A stunning performance by Karl Wolf, Photo Credit: Maggie Devereux

The show ended with a spectacular performance by Karl Wolf. The singer was delighted to be a part of the show and said, “Celebrities endorsing events like this is very important because a lot of people look up to us and follow us. So, it is our responsibility to turn all these eyes to something with a greater cause. I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, grew up in Dubai, and came to Canada – so I have seen life in different countries. To me this idea is brilliant. I would say – create a party, charge the money – it is all going to a great cause and I will always be in support of these events.”

Main Image Photo Credit: 

Mrinalini Sundar

Mrinalini Sundar


Mrinalini Sundar (new_girl_in_to) has worked with various Indian national, international publications including Times Of India and is currently based out of Toronto. She's constantly in search of high adventure, exotic food, and new experiences. She is the happiest amidst mountains, with no wi-fi.