Supermodel Pat Cleveland, 68, diagnosed with colon cancer and struggling to pay for treatment: 'We are not rich'

Just weeks after walking the runway for Tommy Hilfiger in Paris, Pat Cleveland has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is struggling to pay for treatment, according to a GoFundMe page detailing her condition.

The famed supermodel, now 68, had "some stomach complaints for a few months," and while in Paris for the Hilfiger show in early March, her belly was swollen and she was extremely uncomfortable. After a doctor told her to go immediately to a hospital, "a scan found a cancerous tumor blocking her colon, and she went into surgery immediately and they operated on her for two and a half hours."

Cleveland, one of the world's first African-American women to walk high-end runways and appear on magazine covers, has been a fashion industry staple for more than 50 years. Her illustrious career began as a teenager in the late 1960s, when a Vogue editor took notice of her on the street, and led to work with top designers around the world. However, her husband, Paul Van Ravenstein, explains on the fundraising page that her achievements have not resulted in financial stability.

"Pat has had a successful career, but we are not rich, she modeled in the days when there was no big paychecks, no big endorsement deals. It was not big money like some of these models make today," he wrote. "And today, one month you might have ten jobs and another month you might have no jobs at all."

PHOTOS: Pat Cleveland through the years

38 PHOTOS
Pat Cleveland through the years
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Pat Cleveland through the years
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 8: Pat Cleveland attends Jonathan Michaels Fashion Party on November 8, 1967 at Delmonico's in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Portrait of American fashion model Pat Cleveland as she poses in a studio, New York, New York, 1970s. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images). (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
Halston and Pat Cleveland (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Model Pat Cleveland, leaning across a couch and smoking cigarette, wearing a short, dark evening dress with drawstring neck and satin ribbon hem by Bill Blass. (Photo by Bob Stone/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
Joe Dallesandro, model Pat Cleveland and Jed Johnson attend Valentino Fashion Show Benefiting Special Olympics on June 7, 1976 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Model Pat Cleveland attends Democratic National Convention Party on July 11, 1976 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 24: Pat Cleveland attends B. Altman Fashion Show on August 24, 1977 at B. Altman Department Store in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1977: Pat Cleveland and Sterling St. Jacques circa 1977 in New York City. (Photo by Images Press/IMAGES/Getty Images)
Press Conference at The Gazebo Hotel, Kings Cross for visiting American Model, Pat Cleveland.Pat is in Sydney to attend the Quest of Quest. September 19, 1978. (Photo by Pearce/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 19: Actor Steve Guttenberg and actress Pat Cleveland attending the premiere party for 'Can't Stop The Music' on June 19, 1980 at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 12: Pat Cleveland attends Shanghai Peking Opera Opening on August 12, 1981 at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Top Cat walk model Pat Cleveland - Bicentennial Wool parade models Cocktail party at Williams Night club. January 27, 1988. (Photo by Ross Anthony Willis/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
NEW YORK - 1989: Model Pat Cleveland walks down the runway at a Fendi Fashion show at Bergdorf Goodman in 1989 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Modeling legends Carmen Dell'Orefice (left) and Pat Cleveland get together during the Fashion for Relief runway show at the tents in Bryant Park on the last day of Fashion Week. The one-time-only event brought together 82 looks from 42 different brands - from Baby Phat to Burberry - modeled by celebrities and catwalkers, to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Pat Cleveland during Liza Minnelli Celebrates Launch of 'L!ZA for M.A.C' Makeup Collection in New York City at The Carlyle Hotel in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Supermodel Pat Cleveland and her daughter Anna attend the private party hosted by Donald Trump's T Management for legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland at Ian Schrager's Hudson Sky Terrace September 17, 2003 in New York. (Photo By Steven Henry/Getty Images)
Anna Cleveland, Steven Burroughs and Pat Cleveland (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Roberto Cavalli)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Anna Cleveland, Pat Cleveland, Debbie Dickinson and Alva Chinn attend Donna Karan's Holiday Party at Stephan Weiss Studio on December 15, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Matt Carasella/ PMc/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - DECEMBER 6: Corey Tippin and Pat Cleveland attend Rootstein Display Mannequins to Fête Solstiss Bucol’s 20 Years in America at Rootstein Display Mannequins on December 6, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by A SCOTT/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - DECEMBER 10: Pat Cleveland attends ELSA PERETTI Celebrates 35 Years with TIFFANY & Co. at Tiffany & Co. on December 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by NICK HUNT/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 03: Model Pat Cleveland with daughter Anna van Ravenstei attends the Models From The 80's Reunion at Bongo on November 3, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: Model Anna Van Ravenstein, TV personality and event's host Nigel Barker and model Pat Cleveland attend the Global Fashion Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 10, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for WGSN Global Fashion Awards)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Pat Cleveland attends the 20th Century Fox with The Cinema Society & Brooks Brothers screening of 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' at Museum of Modern Art on December 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Models Pat Cleveland and Anna Cleveland attend MAC Cosmetic's John Demsey and Zac Posen's dinner to celebrate his Pre- Fall Collection at Mr Chow on December 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for MAC Cosmetics)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 09: Model Pat Cleveland attends The Cinema Society & Montblanc host a special screening of Starz Digital's 'The Color of Time' at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on December 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Pat Cleveland arrives at the funeral of fashion designer Oscar De La Renta at St. Ignatius Of Loyola on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Model Pat Cleveland attends Roxanne Lowit's 'Yves Saint Laurent' Book Launch at Steven Kasher Gallery on October 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Pat Cleveland arrives at the 19th Annual amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Model Pat Cleveland attends the screening of Sony Pictures Classics' 'Julieta' hosted by The Cinema Society with Avion and GQ at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on November 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 2: Model Pat Cleveland walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 2, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Estrop/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Anna Cleveland and her mother Pat Cleveland attend the 80th Kenzo Takada Birthday Party at Pavillon Ledoyen on February 28, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff Petroff/Castel/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24: Pat Cleveland walks the runway at the Laura Biagiotti Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion show at Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20 on February 24, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
US model Pat Cleveland presents a creation during the Laura Biagiotti's women's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection fashion show, on February 24, 2019 in Milan. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Pat Cleveland walks the runway at the Naeem Khan Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion sho during New Yrok Fashion Week on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Karen Bjornsen, Pat Cleveland and Alva Chinn walk the runway at the Naeem Khan Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion sho during New Yrok Fashion Week on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Pat Cleveland and Kareon Elson attend the Anna Sui front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Pat Cleveland walks the runway for the Hellessy Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 8, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Pat Cleveland walks the runway for the Hellessy Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 8, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
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Cleveland is still in in France but hopes to return to the U.S. before starting chemotherapy. But she "has no health insurance, she only has Medicare, which won't cover anything outside of the country," Ravenstein said. He also noted that the diagnosis came as a shock in part because "she is so healthy, she is a vegan, doesn't drink or smoke."

The couple lives in Morristown, New Jersey, and shares 30-year-old daughter Anna, who is also a model. The mom and daughter have worked together in recent years for campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Lanvin.

Weeks before arriving in Paris, Cleveland walked in New York Fashion Week in February. In addition to walking for Hellessy, she closed Naeem Khan's show alongside Alva Chinn and Karen Bjornson in glittering silver ensembles.

PHOTOS: Pat Cleveland walking the runway in 2019

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Pat Cleveland walking the runway in 2019
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Pat Cleveland walking the runway in 2019
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: (L-R) Models Alva Chinn, Pat Cleveland and Karen Bjornson walk the runway at the Naeem Khan show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Karen Bjornsen, Pat Cleveland and Alva Chinn walk the runway at the Naeem Khan Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion sho during New Yrok Fashion Week on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Models Karen Bjornson, Pat Cleveland and Alva Chinn pose backstage for TRESemme at the Naeem Khan show during NYFW on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TRESemme)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Pat Cleveland poses backstage for TRESemme at the Naeem Khan show during NYFW on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TRESemme)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Pat Cleveland walks the runway at the Naeem Khan Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion sho during New Yrok Fashion Week on February 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: Pat Cleveland walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 2: Model Pat Cleveland during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 2, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Estrop/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Pat Cleveland and Anna Cleveland attend the Kenzo Takada Birthday Party as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on February 28, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24: Pat Cleveland walks the runway at the Laura Biagiotti Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion show at Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20 on February 24, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
US model Pat Cleveland presents a creation during the Laura Biagiotti's women's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection fashion show, on February 24, 2019 in Milan. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
US model Pat Cleveland presents a creation during the Laura Biagiotti's women's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection fashion show, on February 24, 2019 in Milan. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
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