Pat Cleveland was diagnosed with colon cancer after falling ill in Paris last month.
Following a buzzy appearance in the Tommy x Zendaya fall ’19 runway show, the supermodel was rushed to a French hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery.
The 68-year-old’s husband, Paul Van Ravenstein, has launched a GoFundMe to help pay for her hospital treatment, which is not covered by Medicare. Her daughter, Anna Cleveland, has followed in her footsteps as a model.
“Pat has had surgery and will remain in Paris recovering until the doctors clear her for travel,” Van Ravenstein wrote on GoFundMe.”Many thanks for your love, support and prayers. We are looking forward to having Pat back to her old self again very soon!“
The family has raised $61,842 so far, with a goal of $150,000. Cleveland’s connections in the fashion industry have stepped in to help out, with donations coming in from famous friends including Kimora Lee Simmons, Helena Christensen and Anna Sui.
Once cleared for air travel, Cleveland will return home to the U.S. to begin treatments stateside.
Rising to fame in the ’60s and ’70s as a muse for designers like Halston, Oscar de la Renta and Stephen Burrows, Cleveland was one of the first African-American models to gain acclaim. In a 2016 interview with FN, she reflected on her experience working with such renowned designers.
“Working with Stephen Burrows, Karl Lagerfeld, Halston — you can’t just pick one,” she explained. “They were very special, and they give you a different feeling. These young men, when they were starting, they made everything special — they draped the world. I was just a skinny flagpole with a lot of hair — that was me, but I felt adored.“
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