Having survived breast cancer and publicly overcome struggles with infertility, Giuliana Rancic, Emmy Award-winning journalist and TV personality for E! Entertainment Television, channels her passion for beauty and fashion through charity.
Rancic created Fab-U-Wish to help women in the US who are undergoing treatment or have already undergone treatment for breast cancer. The initiative helps women who are going through a difficult time in their lives the opportunity to feel fabulous through makeovers, shopping sprees and such.
On Sunday, September 14, 2014, in the Macy’s Court of Westfield Southcenter, 200 guests attended the sold out event, Champagne Brunch with Giuliana Rancic to help raise money for Fab-U-Wish. All proceeds, more than $12,500, benefited the initiative. Before Rancic came out, guests visited beauty bars. Gene Juarez representatives curled hair and Sephora representatives painted nails.
Before a fashion show that featured clothing from retailers in the mall, Rancic opened the presentation by recalling a conversation she had with her husband. She told him about a moment when she got out of hair and makeup. She looked at herself in the mirror and finally felt good again after having battled breast cancer, which inspired her to find a way to give back to other women and help them look in the mirror and see themselves again. For Rancic, the most important part of her philanthropic efforts is making people happy.
“When I realized I wanted to give back, I saw that there were many organizations that were raising tons of money for research or planning these marathons or walks to raise money for breast cancer,” Rancic said. “And, I wanted to tap into something that I was good at, something that no one else was doing, but that I had the capability to do. That’s why I created Fab-U-Wish; it was passion, beauty and entertainment, so I was able to use all my strengths to come up with something to help people.”
After the fashion show, which featured clothing from Westfield Southcenter’s own retail stores, Rancic introduced Selam Wedajo, a local woman and mother of two children who was granted a shopping spree the day before the brunch. Rancic explained that, in May 2013, Wedajo discovered a mass in her breast while she was breastfeeding her 12-month-old daughter and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She discovered the cancer was aggressive and that she would need surgery and chemotherapy.
After Wedajo talked about her story, Rancic and Shaun Swanger, vice president of marketing for Westfield North America, surprised her with a family trip to Disneyland, which they presented to her with Mickey and Minnie Mouse stuffed animals. Wedajo was assigned to a personal stylist from Styled Seattle, and had her hair styled at Gene Juarez. Before walking offstage, Wedajo got to show off her new outfit by walking the runway.
“I love seeing women come out in a great new dress, like Selam did today, with a makeover and smile, and make them feel sexy and beautiful again,” Rancic said.
This is Rancic’s sixth event for Westfield in two years. She reassured the audience that by shopping at Westfield, they are shopping at a place that supports women. Swanger said in the past two years working with Rancic, Westfield has raised more than $150,000 for breast cancer. Although she keeps a busy schedule, Rancic said she relies on her passion for her work to keep her motivated.
“For me, it’s really important not just to give back, but to give back in a way that feeds your soul as well.”