Legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland has been diagnosed with colon cancer. After walking the runways at Paris Fashion Week last month, the 68-year-old fell ill and was rushed to a hospital in the French capital. Her family is now asking for help with medical expenses via a GoFundMe page.
Cleveland unexpectedly had to undergo emergency surgery in Paris after modeling in Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya’s ’70s-themed runway show. According to reports, she’s currently in intensive care at the American Hospital in Paris, where she must remain until doctors clear her for travel back to the U.S.
The supermodel doesn’t have health insurance and her Medicare won’t cover treatment outside of the United States. Cleveland’s husband, Paul Van Ravenstein, set up a GoFundMe page to assist the family’s medical expenses.
“This was totally unexpected, but Pat is doing OK, she is staying very strong. She is going to have to undergo chemotherapy after a month, and we are hoping she’ll be home in the US to do that. We have to wait to see what the doctor says about travel for Pat. It’s a shock, how is it possible that this could happen to somebody so healthy?” Van Ravenstein told Page Six.
Since the family launched its GoFundMe campaign on March 31, the page has raised $58,000 of its $150,000 goal. Fashion industry insiders including Zac Posen, Kimora Lee Simmons, and Anna Sui are amongst those who have donated to the supermodel’s medical expenses.
As one of the first African American models to achieve runway and editorial success in the fashion industry, Cleveland rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s. During that time, she was photographed by legends from Andy Warhol to Richard Avedon and walked for major fashion houses from Yves Saint Laurent to Valentino and Dior. She was also notably one of the Halstonettes, Halston’s go-to model troupe that helped define ’70s fashion.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US