QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Just minutes before showtime, the neophyte models fidgeted nervously as helpers rushed to put the final touches on makeup and adjust the clothes.
But when the time came, the 15 young women and men, each in turn, headed down the catwalk — some gracefully, others a little more challenged by the artificial limbs they all use after surviving cancer.
The models came from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to be part of the Day of Bionic Fashion event, which was organized by the Youth Against Cancer Foundation.
"Parading is my little victory, a dream, a big goal accomplished," said Diana Armijos, an amputee who participated in Tuesday night's 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."
With TV cameramen and other journalists crowded along the runway, 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."