‘Hats for Hope’ Kentucky Derby fashion show honors life of late founder

She started planning the Hats for Hope Fashion Show before passing away. Her family and friends are picking up where she left off, with the event now named in K
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 5:05 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2023 at 11:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Kentucky Derby-themed fashion show was held Sunday, honoring the life of the event’s founder.

Hats for Hope Fashion Show was inspired by Kim Heath, who passed away in January after a six-year battle with metastatic melanoma cancer.

“Kim was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma about 5 years ago‚” Heath’s oncologist Dr. Jason Chesney said. “At the time, very few patients survive that disease. We put her on multiple clinical trials and multiple immuno-therapies to keep her alive for the past five years. But ultimately we lost our battle against cancer with Kim.”

“UofL Health - Brown Cancer Center gave my mom six more years with us,” Heath’s daughter Lindsey Gibson said. “That’s six more Christmases, three children’s weddings, the birth of three grandchildren, and lots of travel. The Hats for Hope Fashion Show was the start of her passion project. I am determined to make this fashion show a success, just as my mother would have. Her legacy will live on.”

Heath was a patient at Brown Cancer Center and was determined to help others along their cancer journey, a UofL Health release said.

“The Kim Heath Hats for Hope Fashion Show represents everything Kim loved: the Derby, fashion, shopping and most importantly, supporting the cause to beat cancer,” Fashion Show Producer Chris Fulkerson said. “She was an inspiration to so many people, including those that treated her at Brown Cancer Center, and I feel honored to continue the work she was most passionate about.”

The fashion show was held at the Olmstead on Frankfort Avenue from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring cancer patients, survivors, UofL Health physicians, and Heath’s friends and family.

“A little emotional, high energy, get back to being emotional. It’s all for a great cause,” Fulkerson said.

Fulkerson said the show was a rollercoaster of a project.

“All of us at Brown Cancer Center were motivated by Kim’s determination, enthusiasm, and love for helping others,” Chesney said. “At Brown Cancer Center, cutting-edge clinical trials and research continue to help find advanced treatment options for all types of cancer. We’re grateful to Kim’s family for continuing her wish to expand innovative care to other cancer patients across the region.”

The event also featured brunch, boutique shopping and a raffle. Proceeds went to the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center, as well as cancer research.

“The work that we’re doing here, raising money, is translating to more cures for patients,” Chesney said. “That means more long lives, more time spent with their family, more time being able to be productive members of our community.”

For those who want to contribute, donations can be made here.