Baptist Health’s fashion fundraiser Pearls & Pumps guarantees a memorable girl’s day out while helping to provide life-enhancing services to their cancer patients.


ou might not immediately see the connection between excellent, above-and-beyond cancer care services and an elegant, over-the-top fashion show, but in the case of this month’s Pearls & Pumps Rock the Raceway fashion show at Churchill Downs, it’s there. The runway show, which is well-established as a fabulous event for fashion-lovers, is also a source of funding for Baptist Health’s quality-of-life-enhancing services for patients going through cancer treatment. This year, a move to a bigger space— from their longtime location at The Olmsted to Millionaires Row— allows them to sell more tickets and raise even more money for a worthy cause.

“Excellent medical care is our first priority,” says Crista Steinrock, the Foundation Coordinator for Baptist Health.

“But this show supports those added services that help treat the whole patient. So, in addition to administering chemotherapy, we can help them feel better all around. We can focus on their overall well-being and make their lives easier.”

That lofty goal is accomplished in many big—and little— ways. “We provide patients who need them with rides to and from appointments through a partnership with Lyft. We offer free wigs and scarves. We offer treatments like free massage, Tai Chi classes, Reiki (a form of touch therapy), art therapy,” says Steinrock. In other words, Baptist Health provides their patients with moments of pleasure and relaxation during a time that can otherwise be filled with stress.

“I had never had a massage before I got one at the Charles and Mimi Osborn Cancer Center at Baptist,” says Katie Embry, a palliative nurse and former stage two ductal carcinoma patient. “It was incredible. And, as a survivor, I’m still able to take advantage of those services. It’s nice to have that support after the fact because you still have aches and pains and things you have to work on after the fact—mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Autumn Schnurr, another Baptist employee and former breast cancer patient, found the Reiki treatments to be a great comfort during and after the course of her treatment. “With all you’re going through, it’s nice to have something to look forward to,” she says, “and it’s nice to feel like something other than a patient. The Reiki works not only on your physical state, but on a spiritual level. I always came out feeling lighter.”

Lightening the spirits and the emotional load on patients is very much at the heart of the Pearls & Pumps event. And, in that way, it’s very fitting that this upbeat social outing helps bring joy to patients who need it most.


Pearls & Pumps Rock the Raceway fashion show takes place on Saturday, March 17 at Churchill Downs, Millionaires Row, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Individual tickets are $85 and tables seat eight. For tickets or info, visit or email [email protected]


Posted on 2018-02-01 by Christine Fellingham