Meet the Models: Kate Lepore

Kate Lepore was shocked to learn of her breast cancer diagnosis. She had no family history, but in years past she had dense tissue that had always later been cleared as normal by doctors. It’s why, when her mammogram came back abnormal six months ago, she assumed she would be cleared once again. While the news was profoundly life changing, the one positive was that Kate’s dedication to adhere to regular mammograms allowed her breast cancer to be caught early, which increases her chances of a great outcome. It was a small comfort during an otherwise arduous time.

Initially, Kate was hesitant to share with her community the news of her diagnosis. A large part of that was the judgement she feared from others based on the course of treatment she chose: “everyone is different and their treatment plan is what works for them.” Ultimately, Kate opted for a mastectomy at the end of January and she is currently going through chemo at MGH in Waltham. Slowly, Kate began to open up to those around her and realized “how much breast cancer has affected so many people and what community of support and love there is out there.”

Her friends have been a massive support with daily affirmations (“you got this!, you are strong!”) and simply allowing her to process and feel all the emotions. The emotional rollercoaster is something Kate notes is difficult. Like so many who are handed a similar diagnosis, she oscillates between anger, disbelief, sadness, positivity and more, but it’s little moments of kindness that have gotten her through. Indeed, last month her daughter’s boyfriend purchased the ‘cancer fighting cookbook,’ a gesture that meant so much to Kate. A step further, her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend even came over to cook and prep meals from the cookbook. It’s these small gestures coupled with the larger ones, like driving her to treatment, that have helped Kate feel supported.

Kate herself has continued working and has been “surprised and really happy at how supportive my workplace has been.” Allowing her to find a balance between treatment and work, she credits the flexibility with helping her to keep her mind busy and active, while being able to focus on getting herself healthy again. In all, the empathy is what sticks with Kate. Emotional when reflecting on the past six months, she remains steadfast in her thanks of those around her- from healthcare workers to family to friends- who have continued to bolster her up when she has felt most down.

It’s for this reason we know she will thrive in the Runway community and we can’t wait to see Kate celebrating on our runway.