Pat Cleveland was admitted to a hospital in Paris last week where doctors discovered the supermodel has colon cancer. The news was revealed through a GoFundMe page set up by her husband, Paul van Ravenstein. “Pat has had surgery and will remain in Paris recovering until the doctors clear her for travel,” he wrote. “Thankfully, [our daughter] Anna [Cleveland] has been by Pat’s side throughout, taking great care of her mom. I am headed to Paris this week and hope to have her back home soon so she can begin treatments here in the U.S.”
Page Six reports that Cleveland had “stomach complaints” for months. While in Paris, she felt further discomfort and noticed her stomach was swollen. A doctor urged her to go to the hospital. “This was totally unexpected, but Pat is doing OK, she is staying very strong. She is going to have to undergo chemotherapy after a month, and we are hoping she’ll be home in the US to do that,” van Ravenstein told the publication. “It’s a shock, how is it possible that this could happen to somebody so healthy? It’s like a left hook, you didn’t see it coming and it hit hard.”
He went on to explain that despite her success, Cleveland is not rich. Her heyday was the 1970s when model paychecks were significantly smaller (and endorsement deals weren’t a thing) and these days the gigs are much fewer and further between.
“Pat has no health insurance, she only has Medicare, which won’t cover anything outside of the country,” he said. “We didn’t even think about it because Pat has been so healthy. We had no option but to set up a GoFundMe, we have been so grateful for everyone’s support, she’s worked with so many people over her career.”
The GoFundMe page has a goal of $150,000. Currently it has raised $45,010 from 139 donors in one day. Cleveland walked three runways last season, including Tommy Hilfiger’s Paris show. Click here to donate.