Fresh off the catwalk at Once Upon a Runway: A Toy Story benefiting St. Jude's at the iconic FAO Schwarz in New York, Cynthia Cherise Murphy is ready to strut her stuff for the 8th time.
Health activist and co-founder of Assuaged, Murphy will join forces with Kiss the Monkeys/Kiss the Mermaids (KTM) for their 2nd Annual Bentley Ball in Chicago. The black-tie, fashion charity event is to be held this summer at the exclusive Perillo's Bentley Gold Coast and in plans to aid Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Prince Mario-Max will host the event; Luchy Designs, Teresa Costa, Prashant Goyal, and Pamela Quinzi will once again present their debonair fashion designs.
The fashion show will not only showcase the latest designs; it dares to rock the beauty status quo by its inclusion of models with craniofacial birth defects, physical and mental challenges, deafness, and blindness. Murphy, born with Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS), will be joined on the runway, once again, with Abigail Adams (Abigail the Advocate), an actor, model, and advocate with Down's Syndrome.
Her mission is to open doors for other non-traditional models who live with disabilities and make it commonplace to see them on the stage.
Cynthia actively recruits models for benefit shows. Her efforts include one of her more recent shows at V-Inspired featuring Vero Cruz's designs in Los Angeles, California, where she collaborated with model activist Candy Zavala who also has TCS.
Supporting military veterans is near and dear to Cynthia and her husband and co-founder of Assuaged, Inc., Thane Murphy, a Marine veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury during his service. His resulting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and her own health issues and genetic disability compelled them to find alternative treatments.
They have found healing and wellness through a plant-based diet and lifestyle and want to help others bridge the gap between healthcare and self-care. They've recently re-launched the award-winning and proprietary Assuaged iOS app where users can discover and purchase curated organic and vegan food, home, beauty, and health products.
To learn more about upcoming benefit fashion shows, craniofacial disability advocacy, and plant-based health and wellness, please visit the events page at Assuaged.com.
More About the Founders
Cynthia Murphy is a craniofacial disability activist and graduate student finishing a second Master's degree in Public Health at Purdue University while serving her internship at Patients Rising. She has overcome many chronic health conditions caused by Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic birth defect that affects the bones, muscles, and soft tissues of the face and skull. To date, she's undergone 16+ reconstructive plastic surgeries.
Thane Murphy is a disabled USMC veteran. Unfortunately, his service was cut short when he sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury during a vehicle accident while on duty. Despite fighting to stay in the military, he was honorably and medically discharged. Thane felt incredibly lost during the transition back to civilian life.
After their health changes, Thane reversed pre-diabetes and obesity within three months of new health changes following a letter from the VA, stating that he is now within the top 5% of the healthiest males in his age category. Thane graduated summa cum laude from Purdue University, specializing in nutrition and holistic medicine. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Holistic Natural Health, Healing, and Nutrition.
The Murphys would like to specially thank Kiss the Monkeys & Kiss the Mermaids for their immense efforts to showcase a more diverse range of models. They would also like to thank FAO Schwarz, volunteers, fashion designers, photographers, and event sponsors for believing in the cause of ability and disability.