THE memory of her mother Gloria still brings petite designer Ivy Arellano to tears.
The 29-year-old is one of several designers to take part in Catwalk for a Cause on Saturday at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, raising money for the GI Cancer Institute a charity close to heart.
Ms Arellano’s mum died in 2013 after a short battle with bowel cancer.
At the time, Ms Arellano was 25 and left to raise her younger brother and sister, a time she describes as one of the toughest of her life.
“I was struggling with work and struggling with coping with Mum’s diagnosis,” she said.
“Once she was diagnosed as terminal, I had a real hard look at my life.
“I took that time to step back from my career and spend that quality time with my mum – fortunately I got six good months with her before she passed.”
Ms Arellano said the diagnosis of bowel cancer had come as a shock, given she was fit and healthy and only 45.
“She was always the healthy one,” she said. “From diagnosis to death it was eight months and it’s a disease that is volatile and progresses quickly.
“I do feel happy that I made that decision for myself and my family to spend that amount of time with her.
“And we had those conversations – you know that hard conversation where you know the outcome. She passed the mum role on to me.”
Ms Arellano, who started her label Hunter Rose Sleepwear with friend Loan Tran a month after her mother’s passing, said she would look to honour the memory of her mum at the fashionable fundraising event.
“When I got asked to become involved with the event I had no idea what it was in support of and when I found out, I felt extremely privileged to be a part of something amazing,” she said.
“There isn’t a lot of awareness of the disease out there, so to have something like this is important to remind people to have regular check-ups, live a healthy life and know the extent of how these things impact families.”
Hunter Rose Sleepwear will showcase their new micro collection alongside Balcatta designer Jonte Pike and designers Steph Audino, Bruug, Natalie Rolt and Hello Parry.
Run by the Rotary of Elizabeth Quay and Trax for Gastro Tracts, the eventhonours 35-year-old mother-of-two Rosemary Fogliani, who lost her battle with stomach cancer in November.
All net proceeds from the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre event will go to the GI Cancer Institute. To buy tickets, visit https://www.trybooking.com.