Barbara Bates designs for Diana Rauner

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago designer Barbara Bates will design the gown for Illinois' new first lady, Diana Rauner.

In October, Bates held her annual fundraiser fashion show in which the models are breast cancer survivors. It was also during the closely-contested race for governor.

When Rauner took the microphone it wasn't for politics. She shared her mother's battle with breast cancer and promised to call Bates if her husband won the governor's seat.

"Right now we are off the races to make some cool stuff happen for her. Some Barbara Bates pieces happen for her during that special week down in Springfield," Bates said.

Bates has been raising money for breast cancer awareness since she was diagnosed in 2006.

"I had the wrong information. I thought that if someone had breast cancer their demise would be from breast cancer. I didn't know treatment meant you can live a long life," Bates said.

Bates lives in North Lawndale. Next week, she will announce she has committed $500,000 to Mount Sinai Hospital for breast cancer education and detection.

"There is a cure for it. Early detection is truly the key. It's not just a cute saying," Bates said.

Bates' contribution at Mount Sinai is particularly important as the majority of patients are women of color. The mortality rate for women of color who get breast cancers continues to outpace other races.

"When it lands on your door step you can sit and pull out your hair and have a nervous breakdown or you can do something about it. I chose to keep it moving," Bates said.

Bates is about $90,000 away from fulfilling her commitment to Mt Sinai, but is confident she will get there.
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