A shadow trooper escorting Debbie Sexton, activity director, on the runway

On Sept. 16, 2018, the Belk department store in Winter Haven, Florida, hosted a Star Wars-themed event to recognize local breast cancer survivors.


One of the survivors honored was Debbie Sexton, activity director at Life Care Center of Winter Haven, who has been a survivor since June 2017.


Sexton and the other survivors were offered massages, makeovers, clothing assistance and resources. During the runway event, a shadow trooper escorted each lady down the runway wearing the outfit she picked out, while the announcer shared her name and the crowd clapped and cheered.


“I was asked last year to model for the survivors’ fashion show, but I was weak and wasn’t able to do it physically,” said Sexton. “To know how far I have come in just one year is amazing! My emotions were a little overwhelming. All I could think of is how I praise God for healing me and making me a strong woman again. The entire experience, from shopping to the final walk, was outstanding. We were treated like kings and queens.”


Several other associates attended the event too: Kirsten Curling, business development director; Valerie Foresyth, director of nursing; and Kelli Hunter, nurse liaison, who lost her younger sister to breast cancer, and her niece Krista; and Liz McGill, floor nurse. Leila Hall, an activities volunteer whose sister is a 10-year survivor, also came out to the event.


“Thank you to the marketing team at Life Care for being there to support me and to everyone at Life Care Center of Winter Haven for their support for the last year and a half,” Sexton added.


In addition to honoring Sexton, Life Care Center of Winter Haven provided a booth at the event with giveaways, including pink breast cancer-themed notepads and sanitizing wipes. Organizers shared with associates that the booth was the most popular at the event.


“A lot of people said they loved our facility and had a family member who stayed with us in the past, or they had themselves,” said Curling. “We had a great time and really enjoyed being part of the event. This was our first time participating, and we will definitely make this an annual participation.”

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