Local cancer survivor fights back through Relay for Life

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Be a part of the movement, March 10.

This year, more than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. For Dana Abadie of St. Amant that statistic became real and very personal when she heard the words “you have cancer” and had to process what that would mean for life.

Dana was diagnosed with Breast Cancer October 4, 2016. Here is her story:

Let's just say 2016 wasn't a great year for me. First my home flooded in the Great Flood of 2016. I went for my yearly female check up one month to the date my home flooded, September 14. One week later, September 22, I received a phone call for a recheck on my mammogram. So thinking it's going to be nothing I go back in. I have another mammogram, then an ultrasound done. I'm sent upstairs to talk to my doctor. I'm still not sure what is going on, and the nurse asked if did I have a breast specialist? I'm like no, I don't, and I ask why do I need one. I talked to a doctor who said they found something abnormal on my mammogram, and I needed to see the specialist. Walking out to my car is when it dawned on me that I might have breast cancer. The next week I met with my breast specialist on September 28 and had a biopsy done the next day.

I will forever remember the day and time of the phone call that confirmed my biopsy was positive for breast cancer, October 4 at 4:45 p.m. I was alone at work as all of my coworkers had left for the day. The next week was busy with meeting my medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. My surgery was October 18. That day I became Cancer free. I had to do six weeks of radiation, starting the week after Thanksgiving and ending on January 11, 2017.

The reason I relay is to let people know that I had cancer. Cancer did not have me. Also, I have family members that have passed due to lung, colon and pancreatic cancer. I have many friends and family that cancer has touched someone in their family.

On March 10, 2018, Dana will join with other community members to celebrate at the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Ascension Parish to raise funds and awareness in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. Money raised will help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations.

On March 10, at 3:00 p.m. the Survivors will make the first lap cheered on by many people to celebrate with them, and then they will be joined by their caregivers for the second lap. Please come put to help us celebrate with these amazing people. After the survivor and caregivers lap they will be treated to jambalaya and dessert.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, the Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to save lives from cancer. Uniting communities across the globe, we celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change.

During Relay For Life events, members of each team take turns walking or running around the track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event.

All community members can get involved in the event by forming a team or making a donation to the Relay For Life of Ascension Parish. Visit or to learn more about the event.

Contributed by the American Cancer Society