Model Patient

Kristy Eckert
"My hair is different," says Kinley Strohl, who underwent chemotherapy to fight leukemia. "My hair was really long and straight and blonde. Now it's going to be long and curly and brown."

Kinley Strohl's sore ear turned out to be lymphoblastic leukemia that would take two rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to fight. But the 7-year-old second grader from Ashley battled with a smile, opening a makeshift nail salon in her room at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Now cancer-free, the cheerleader and hip-hop dancer will be smiling down the runway at the Black Tie Blue Jackets Style Show, the hockey team's annual fundraiser for the hospital that helped make Kinley better. The event includes a VIP cocktail reception where guests mingle with players, a dinner, a silent auction and a live auction. But the highlight is the runway show, which features players and their significant others walking the runway with pediatric cancer heroes like Kinley. The event has raised $1 million in six years. "I think it is amazing," says Michelle Strohl, Kinley's mother. "I like to see big organizations like that help out kids." Kinley is excited for the show-and all the fun that has come with it, including time with perhaps her favorite Blue Jackets celeb: the mascot. "I," Kinley says proudly, "got my picture with Stinger!"