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Pink-Linkers Travel to Las Vegas

January 31, 2008
by Vicki Tashman

Melissa Ward is from  Pittsburgh, PA and writes:
 "On December 26, 2007, I, along with 12 other breast cancer survivors, was whisked away on an all-expenses paid trip to fabulous Las Vegas for an unforgettable week of fun and pampering.  While there, I was showered with numerous gifts, received spa treatments, had a glamorous make-over, had a photo shoot with a professional photographer, attended the Chippendales and ICE shows, and much, much more.  I received a new wardrobe and a tailor-made evening gown from Lana Fuchs Couture out of Reno, Nevada.  The week ended with an extravagant black-tie, red carpet New Year’s Eve bash hosted by Victor and Lana Fuchs called the Emerald Dream Ball in honor of the 13 breast cancer survivors.  Being diagnosed with genetic breast cancer in March 2007 at the age of 31 and undergoing a bi-lateral mastectomy, I have struggled every day with learning how to love myself again and accepting my “new” body.  However, my experience in Las Vegas helped me to see myself in a different light and to begin piecing back together all of the brokenness that I feel on the inside and outside.  In addition, I have made lifetime friendships with the 12 other breast cancer survivors and the team members of Lana Fuchs Couture that have so deeply touched my heart and my life through this amazing experience."
Dawn Bradley is from Daphne, AL and writes:
"The week in Las Vegas was an incredible experience that I will never forget.  My world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer on December 20, 2006.  I was 8 months pregnant and looking forward to the birth of my third baby when everything stopped and life as I knew it took a drastic turn.  I spent most of 2007 going through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments - all while caring for a newborn and two older children.  When I entered the Emerald Dream Ball contest, I thought what a great trip for a lucky woman! Never did I imagine that the "lucky woman" would be me! When I found out I was a winnder, I was so happy because I truly felt my husband deserved this "getaway" too for all he went through taking care of all of us during such a difficult time.  I will always be thankful for, Lana Fuchs, and all who took part in making this dream week a reality.  I was able to go to a place I have never been before and live a week of true pampering and fun.  Most of all, I had the awesome opportunity of meeting 12 other coragious woman who were also breast cancer survivors.  Perhaps the best part of winning this trip for me were the bonds that were formed and special friendships that I am certain will last a lifetime."
Priscilla Diblasi is from Everett, MA and writes:
"It's all over now. Put 13 Breast Cancer Survivors in Las Vegas for a week and make that week end with New Year's Eve and begin the day after Christmas and you could never predict what the outcome would be. All of us had different expectations for the week. I went hoping that I would get professional designer help discovering a new fashion style that would suit my new body. Others went thinking that they would get hair extensions that would make them feel better about themselves. I also expected to decompress - don't ask me why i expected to do that in Las Vegas. I think I saw the words pamper and spa and assumed that it would be a relaxing experience. Silly me. Las Vegas by it's very nature is anything but relaxing. We were met at the airport with our names printed on an official Emerald Ball Logo held by our drivers. We met Bill, our videographer, and then we met our volunteer greeter. Such a v.i.p welcome. From there we began our whirlwind week. We did fittings at Lana's Studio. We practised runway walking. We got our faces treated to treatments, our hair cut and styled. We saw shows. We were hosted at Lana and Victor's house for a day of beauty, glamour shots and interviews. We even got a demonstration on how to hustle pool by "Fast Eddy". We ended the week with an as promised over the top New Year's Eve party.  I came away from the week so much richer for having met the other 12 women that were chosen and their partners."
Georgia Stafford is from Three Rivers, MI and entered her sister, Sue Ann Stafford (not a Pink-Linker) in the contest. Sue Ann was chosen as one of the winners and Georgia accompanied her to Las Vegas. Here's what she says about their journey:
"I feel this was a wonderful experience for myself and my sister. We met so many wonderful people. Just spending time with the other survivors, getting to know each other and their stories was truly a rewarding experience. I was lucky to be there to watch my sister shed her turban (inside and out). That was the best feeling for me. I witnessed and experienced growing along with glowing from the love, support and, of course, the extra pampering. I believe that we will be the Emerald Dream family forever!  I cannot say "Thank You" enough. 
Flora Melchionna is from Linden, NJ and writes:
"On Dec. 26, 2007 I was flown to Las Vegas to experience the "Emerald Dream". Little did I know that I would meet 12 other sister survivors and that we would all make a lifelong bound that will never be broken. 
We were treated to a week of pampering and attended a New Year's Eve ball at the Rio held in our honor hosted by Victor and Lana Fuchs. They are the ones who sponsored this trip for all 13 survivors and their guests.  We got to walk the red carpet and had pictures taken with celebrities such as Melissa Gilbert, Alison Sweeney, Ian Ziering, and William Romeo. After midnight each one of us was escorted onto the stage to be recognized.
I will never forget this experience nor will I ever forget the 12 other wonderful survivors I met!! Thanks to Lana and Victor for having us all in LV and showing such compassion for breast cancer survivors."


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