Big news at the second annual Seeds of Hope event, raising funds for women's cancer research.

Magee-Womens Research Institute revealed that they are working on a joint venture with Hamot Health Foundation to bring cancer research and womens cancer clinical trials to Erie soon.

The event featured women impacted by cancer modeling in a "survive with style" fashion show. They were treated to hair styling and nails by Panache and wore fashions from E. Lane Boutique.

One of the models, Abby Lechner, was a speaker for the event.  The young mother of twins shared how at age 34, when diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, she had to travel to South Carolina to participate in a clinical trial for a cutting edge cancer drug. “I did have access to a clinical trial but it took me way out of town, in fact to South Carolina 8 times in one year.”  Her trial drug is now available at Magee Womens in Pittsburgh, but not in Erie yet.

Doctors and researchers who spoke at the luncheon said Magee Womens UPMC already brings word class clinical treatment to Erie.  Soon women will be able to stay  in town and participate in clinical trials. Michael Annichine, CEO, Magee Womens research Institute & Foundation said,  “One of the major assets is our research and that provides absolute world class clinical care, but right now many women have to drive from Erie to Pittsburgh for those clinical trials, if we bring some of that infrastructure up here, which we plan on doing we will be able to save that two hour trip.”

Abby Lechner welcomes that idea. “Absolutely, there’s no reason Erie, this community, shouldn’t have the same resources, the cutting edge resources that larger cities have.”