A Surprise on the Catwalk

Lynx Writer

On Friday, August 5, the whole Minnesota Lynx team participated in the third annual “Catwalk for a Cure,” a fashion event held at the Nordstrom Court inside the Mall of America. The event raised money for the Lynx Foundation, which supports breast cancer research and support programs in Minnesota through a silent auction.

At the event, Lynx players and coaches took off their basketball sneakers and put on some high-heels and partook in a mini-fashion show for fans and mall-goers. As the team sported stylish, and sometimes over-the-top, clothing on the runway, the crowd hooted and hollered on cue. The event provided a festive atmosphere for everyone involved and gave fans a chance to get to know their favorite WNBA players in a more personal setting then when watching them play at Target Center.

For Lynx forward Charde Houston the event provided a personal and emotional surprise, creating a memorable moment that many in attendance will never forget.

As Houston modeled her trendy outfit at the end of the runway, Houston’s mother, Dorothy Greene, appeared behind her. As Houston turned around back towards her teammates, she met her mother’s eyes- after the initial shock of seeing her mother passed over- Houston ran to her mother and gave her a loving hug.

“I was like people are really cheering, wow, my dress is that nice? Wow. Is it the pink bangs?” Houston said laughingly.

“Then I turned around and saw my mom, and it meant so much to me because I remember asking her if it’s O.K. for me to share our story and she was like ‘you can share our story, just leave me out of it, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to be approached about it. So now just to see her up on that stage just lets me know that she is not embarrassed by it, she’s not ashamed, she’s supporting not only our team but everyone that has gone through it.” Houston explained. She knew that her mother would be in the Twin Cities, but didn’t know that she would participate in the Catwalk event. It was a genuine surprise.

The story Houston alludes to is a special one. Her mother, Dorothy Greene, was diagnosed with breast cancer this past February, it was a very emotional and difficult time for both Greene and Houston. Remarkably, through treatment and determination Greene was able to overcome the dangerous disease and is now as healthy as ever. Greene knows that without her daughters support the battle would have been much harder to face.

“When my hair fell out that was very devastating to me. I was in the shower and she (Houston) was in the room, and when I took the shower and my hair was on the floor I started screaming,” Greene emotionally described. “She just said ‘Mom, you know what? Your hair grows back fast, you can weave it, and if you can’t weave it, you can wig it.’ So that was very encouraging, and the next thing I knew, the next day, Charde’s hair was bald.”

Many Lynx fans probably wondered why Houston’s head is bald, now the story is out, Houston shaved her head to support her mother during her tough battle with cancer. Greene continued.

“So I asked her, ‘when are you going to grow you hair back?’ and she said ‘When yours grows back.’ It was very good knowing that she understood, she accepted the fact that she was there to assist an support me. It meant a lot to me.” Greene said.

It was evident that Houston’s support and sacrifice energized and propelled her mother to overcome her bout with cancer.

It’s apparent that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree with Houston and Greene. Last month, Houston won the Dawn Staley Community Leadership award for her continued efforts mentoring and helping young children through her organization titled Project Y.O.U.

Meanwhile, her mother Greene is a big supporter of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Greene spoke in sign language while she was up on stage and gave inspiring words to the audience. Both Greene and Houston are selfless people and have put others in front of themselves everyday of their respective lives.

“I’m very proud of Charde. Charde is a giving person. One thing about Charde is that it’s not all about herself, and I have taught her that you cannot go through life with your fist always balled up, because if your fist is always closed nothing goes out and nothing comes in. If you want god to bless you then you’re going to have to bless someone else. I thank god for the fact that he has allowed her to use her talent to help other people and not be selfish.” Greene described her daughter.

It’s stories like Houston’s and Greene’s that don’t always make the top headlines. However, these inspiring stories and moments will stick with many people and provide further reason to believe in the valuable traits of hope, optimism, and selflessness.

On Friday night at the Mall of America, Houston and Greene provided everyone with a fresh, positive, and uplifting relevant story to cite when dealing with everything from breast cancer and disease to any other hard comings in one’s life. It truly was a special surprise on the catwalk for everyone involved.

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