Ascension Parish residents screened for cancer and other conditions in a fun, festival-like atmosphere

Ascension Parish residents took proactive measures to protect their health by participating in Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s inaugural Live Well Ascension in Gonzales, which was supported by the Gonzales Area Foundation. Ascension Parish residents were screened for five different types of cancer and other health screenings at no cost at the Oct. 28 event.

DeEtte DeArmond, a founding member of the Gonzales Area Foundation, said that the Ascension Parish community always comes together to help one another.

“The Foundation was started to help cancer patients being treated at Mary Bird Perkins, and now we’ve extended our work to help our residents stay healthy. There are steps you can take to prevent cancer and detect it early when it’s most treatable, and we want every person in our parish to have access to these services.”

Live Well cancer screenings included breast, prostate, skin, colorectal and oral cavity, along with blood pressure, glucose checks and BMI checks. Any participants who received an abnormal finding are being assisted by a patient navigator to ensure necessary follow-up care is promptly accessed.

“The Gonzales Area Foundation’s support was critical to the success of Live Well Ascension,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and outreach at Mary Bird Perkins. “The amount of time and resources required to create an event of this magnitude are tremendous and everyone involved in the Foundation went above and beyond to make sure we reached as many people as possible and offered a plethora of prevention and early detection services.”

In addition to the health aspects of the event, Live Well Ascension included activities for the whole family. Food, entertainment and children’s activities, including hayrides and pumpkin decorating, were all available at no cost.

In addition to the Gonzales Area Foundation, other Live Well sponsors and supporters includes: Jaubert and India Ambeau with FitBody Boot Camp, Councilman Kirk and Melanie Boudreaux, Gonzales Mayor Barney and Betty Arceneaux, Russ and Debbie Babin, Jeanne Boyce, Robert Burgess and St. Elizabeth Hospital, Ronnie and Wendy Daigle, Johnny and DeEtte DeArmond, Bridget Hanna, Clerk of Court, Jason and Brittney May, Gregg Patterson with Pit Stop Exxon, Rouse’s Markets, Jamie and Darla Rye, Shelia Savoy, Brandon Trosclair with Ralph’s Market, Mike Waguespack and Sheriff Jeffrey Wiley.

Mary Bird Perkins in Gonzales has provided high-quality cancer care to Ascension Parish residents for nearly a decade. Since 2010, the Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go education and early detection program has provided more than 900 free cancer screenings and diagnosed seven cancers in the community.

The Cancer Center offers screenings throughout the year. For more information, call 225-215-1234 or 888-616-4687 or visit marybird.org/ascension.

Contributed