MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A major designer came to South Florida for a major cause.
CBS4’s Cynthia Demos sat down with Mr. De La Renta who told her why he was in South Florida on Thursday.
“I am here for one reason..this man,” said De La Renta referring to Dr. Stephen Nimer who asked for an Oscar De La Renta fashion show in Miami to benefit University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“He had been my doctor…I was diagnosed in 2006. I’m alive and I’m clean right now. What else do I want,” said De La Renta.
“During the course of our friendship Oscar became a patient of mine,” said Dr. Nimer.
De La Renta had cancer 8 years ago when Dr. Nimer was with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Dr. Nimer is now the director of the center and asked his former patient for a favor.
“There are many doctors but few true friends who take care of their patients,” said De La Renta.
A patient of the center, Jamie Rusk co-chaired the fashion show fundraiser.
Rusk was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago for the first time and she’s not the only one in her family who fought the battle.
The first time she was diagnosed, her son Tyler was only 10 weeks old. Her doctor was very concerned.
“He was so sweet and told me to go home and take care of things of my son….and he said ‘we’re going to figure things out'” said Rusk.
They did, but then she was diagnosed a second time. Rusk pulled through again.
Shortly after that, she got a call from her husband Kevin saying he had prostate cancer.
“I was like are you kidding me there is no way this is happening,” said Rusk.
They made it through. Jamie was later diagnosed for a third time.
During the third round, she was actually planning the fundraiser and would fall asleep during committee meetings in her hospital room.
For the Rusks, having the center so close by was a blessing that saved their lives more than once.
It landed them both at the event, hosting in De La Renta.
Rusk’s husband was modeling in the high-end duds, giving back and raising awareness and funds for the center.
“It’s a special treat to be in Miami today,”said De La Renta.