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news News Friday, November 8, 2019 Friday, November 8, 2019 3:02 PM - Friday, November 8, 2019 3:02 PM

Alex hits the runway

Alex hits the runway

The Springfield Shriners Hospital was given the opportunity to have Alex, one of our teen patients with cerebral palsy, walk in the Unify Against Bullying Fashion Show in October! We were thrilled to be a part of this special event, and Alex could not have been more excited.

Unify Against Bullying is a local nonprofit with a mission to end bullying through the celebration of true diversity. This annual all-inclusive fashion show is a huge event that celebrates all sizes, shapes, styles, ethnicities, sexual orientations and physical abilities. Students from over 25 different schools come together to make this incredible show possible. Students feel empowered on the runway, and create a series of performances showing the effects of bullying.

“This year, Unify was excited to partner with Shriners Hospital. They were eager to introduce us to one of their patients. Alex joined us as a runway model and was a delight from the very beginning when we met him for the first rehearsal! He had a big smile on, came in and introduced himself to everyone. Alex totally enjoyed meeting all of the other students and had a great time rehearsing for the performance.For his look, Alex requested a “fierce” modern red and black blazer with motorcycle jeans and a fedora. He totally rocked the runway!” said Christine Maiwald, the executive director of Unify Against Bullying.

This year’s fashion show had 500 guests in attendance at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and was live-streamed on social media for all to see.

When asked about his experience, all Alex could do was smile from ear-to-ear. “This experience made me feel free in a way I can’t describe. I really came into myself and had so much fun.”

Learn more about Unify Against Bullying and their mission.

Photo credit: Edward Cohen, MassLive