Michael Galaz '76, a Model of Courage
On November 1, 2015, Michael "Showtime" Galaz participated for the second time as a runway model for St. Jude's Annual "Walk Among the Stars" Fashion Show. In the two years that Mike has been involved with this charity event, nearly half a million dollars has been raised for cancer research. The "Walk Among the Stars" Fashion Show features St. Jude patients who are currently battling cancer or have survived cancer. In 2010, Mike was diagnosed with stage 4 prostrate metastatic cancer. Essentially, Mike's cancer has spread from his prostrate and is now in his bones throughout his body. Michael's prognosis is considered terminal and at the time of his diagnosis, he was given just one year to live. However, thanks to God, the breakthrough medicines that he is receiving, the high quality physicians and knowledgeable staff of St. Jude Hospital, and the loving support of his family, Mike is already approaching his sixth year of managing his cancer.
In the days leading up to the fashion show, the models must attend multiple training sessions, fittings and rehearsals. Each model is taught the proper runway techniques for walking, pausing and turning. Michael, nicknamed "Showtime" by his family and fashion show friends, is a self-admitted show off and "ham" according to his sister, MaryAnn Galaz Ballard. In spite of Mike's physical weakness and discomfort, once he hears his name called and is cued to begin his runway walk, he puts on his winning smile, highlighted by his iconic mustache, and struts his stuff to the audiences cheers and delight. Michael says, "I can't see anyone, the lights are so bright, but I can hear them and I feel them". During the fashion show, Michael makes two wardrobe changes. One of Mike's runway walks is made wearing casual apparel by Macy's and his second walk features a tuxedo by Clint's Tux Shoppe in Buena Park. Mike's unique style, energy and enthusiasm on the runway certainly enhance the look of the outfits he's wearing. As Mike coolly sashays down the runway, what the audience really sees is a man full of confidence, charisma and courage.
When asked how she feels when watching her big brother walk the runway, MaryAnn said, "I feel so much pride. Michael is an incredible inspiration to many people battling cancer!" Mike's loving wife of 30 years, Angela says, "it is overwhelming to see Mike shine so bright and bring joy to others especially when I know all the trials and tribulations he has been through." Mike's children were also in attendance at the event and have tremendous love and pride for their father. At the conclusion of the fashion show, many guests made a point to congratulate Mike on his runway performance. Several commented that he is raising the performance bar for future runway models.
Thank you Michael for honoring God, your family and yourself by being an exemplary and remarkable model of courage!