QUITO, Ecuador – As the runway start time approached, fresh faced models fidgeted nervously as helpers rushed to put the final touches on their makeup and wardrobe.
And when the time came, 15 young women and men headed fiercely down the catwalk — some gracefully, others a little more challenged by the artificial limbs they use after surviving cancer.
At the Day of Bionic Fashion even, Latino cancer survivors from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela became models for the day.
"Parading is my little victory, a dream, a big goal accomplished," said Diana Armijos, an amputee who participated in the Feb. 7 event while also in the final week of pregnancy.
"I dedicate it to my baby because before the show I had to go to a medical appointment and then come to the parade."
Organized by the Youth Against Cancer Foundation, TV cameramen and other journalists crowded along the runway as the models drew applause, smiles and repeated congratulations.
"We were all very tired, very nervous to get out in front of so many people, but it went very well," Armijos said.
Youth Against Cancer said the fashion show was arranged to broaden the horizons of young people with cancer.
"We want to fulfill the dreams of young people with cancer," said the foundation's director, Gustavo Davila. "No matter what their life expectancy, they are entitled to keep dreaming until the end, to be treated with dignity."
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.