Breast Cancer Survivors
The Six Courageous Survivors

After the incredible success of my first charity event benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and raising $10,000, I decided that I would plan for another event the next year. This year, I decided to reach out into the local community of survivors. I went on Channel 6 News and held a writting submission contest for local survivors of Miami to submit their story. I choose 6 survivors for the event, who would share their story and be apart of an amazing contribution to the cause.

 Each survivor recieved a custom made couture gown from our in house designer, Renato Armijo. They had a fashion photography shoot with Carlos Baez with Channel 6 covering the footage. For the event, these 6 amazing women got to walk down the runway in their couture gown with hair and make-up provided by Mario Ortega. It was an incredible experience for everyone!

 The event was the historic Alfred I Dupont in downtown Miami. We had over 500 guests attend. The event was complete with a silent auction, a couture vinette, 5 star catering and pink champagne.

 Here is some coverage from the Sun Sentinel

 After surviving surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, parading down a fashion runway in a private label gown wasn’t difficult for six South Florida breast cancer survivors.

 The women helped raise $10,000 for breast cancer awareness during Ever After Miami’s Susan G. Komen For the Cure’s Passionately Pink for the Cure.

 “I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” said Judy Celender, 58, a cancer survivor from Coral Springs. “I had no idea it would be such an overwhelming feeling. My emotions were skyrocketing.”

 Celender has endured a 14-year battle with breast cancer, including a dozen biopsies, treatments, a bilateral mastectomy and 15 subsequent surgeries.

 Susan Cassone, a survivor who lives in Lighthouse Point, has been cancer-free for a year after being diagnosed in 2005 and undergoing a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and intravenous drug therapy.

 She said the fashion show was a wonderful experience.

 “The whole time I was going through this, I put it in the background and never really gave myself credit for going through it with dignity,” said Cassone, manager for teacher certification for the Broward County School Board. “This was a celebration for me to acknowledge that.”

 Both women said they plan to continue working for breast cancer awareness.

 “I want women to know if you get it, you can through it,” Cassone said. “You don’t have to be suffering and ashamed. It’s not the end of the world. My life has changed in a positive way as a result of this.”

 Camille Thiry Russler, owner of Ever After Miami, said she came up with the idea for the event after her great-grandmother, grandmother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law were stricken with the disease.

 “We were able to raise funds and awareness for a very valuable foundation as well as celebrate six inspirational women for their courage, strength and grace and for ultimately conquering a dreadful disease,” she said. Each winner received a unique Ever After Evening gown designed by in-house designer Renato Armijo, hair and makeup by Mario Ortega of Oribe, and fashion photography by Carlos Baez.

 Thiry Russler said she is already planning next year’s event and accepting sponsor offers.

 For more information, go to or call 305-444-7300.


Here are the survivors from the fashion photo shoot they had with Carlos Baez:

Camille Russler, Carlos Baez, Mario Ortega and The Survivors at their photo shoot.

Barbara Glenn, Survivor Since 1980

Carla Genender, Survivor Since 1984

Carla Hill, Survivor Since 2005Judy Celender, Survivor Since 2004

Sarah Hoag, Survivor Since 2000

Susan Cassone, Survivor since 2005

Photos From The Event:


The Survivors Cat Walk

The survivors walk down the cat walk in their custom couture gowns