Stories Worth Sharing

At Cancer Services, we have the privilege of meeting and working with so many amazing and inspiring people every day. Their stories make up the fabric of our Cancer Services' community and family and we are honored to know each and every one of them!  It is our pleasure to share some of their stories with you.



ArtieSWSAfter being diagnosed with cancer, Artie came to Cancer Services for support and medical supplies. While on his cancer journey, Artie found ‘an angel’ in a fellow survivor and was able to get the support that he needed. Over seven years after his diagnosis, he keeps coming to Cancer Services and is now an angel for others, showing them how to live a full life with cancer.




NickSWSAt Cancer Services, we are fortunate to have the support of many community leaders. Nick Speyrer, our 2015 board president, continually goes above and beyond for the entire community and this agency. As a cancer survivor, he understands how important it is to provide services and resources to those affected by cancer. Under his leadership, and through the work of our amazing board, Cancer Services will continue to excel and evolve to meet the needs of families and individuals affected by cancer in our community. Thanks for your dedication and continuous support, Nick!



In 2011, Quiana was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Over the last few years, she has utilized our prescription assistance program, our children’s programs for her daughter and many of our exercise classes. Quiana's journey has not been easy, but her cancer did not take away her beautiful smile and her zest for life!

Quiana and her daughter, Quiara, are pictured below at Cancer Services “Cokes & Canvas” event. This event, like many others throughout the year, provides teens affected by cancer the opportunity to have fun and hang out with other teens experiencing similar things. Those smiles really do say it all!



MelanieAt 25, Melanie was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after feeling a lump on her neck. Living in Baton Rouge, she traveled every few weeks to MD Anderson Cancer Center for treatment, while also working full time as a nurse. To help combat her stress and fatigue, Melanie found comfort and strength through Cancer Services' exercise programs. The regulars at these classes welcomed her with open arms and Melanie found her own personal support group. Now in remission, she still frequents these classes to keep up her strength.

Support groups can come in a multitude of ways and we are so happy we helped Melanie find hers!


Mom's Night Out



Three times a year, Cancer Services treats moms who have experienced a child diagnosed with cancer to a night out. These ladies share tips and experiences and become a support system for one another. This week, our moms enjoyed dinner and painting thanks to the generosity of talented artists, Stephanie Hasenkampt and Tara Button. At the event, one of the moms stated, “these women are my family. We didn't ask to be connected but we are, and we have been there for each other for a long time.” Enjoying a night out, while talking with others who have walked in the same shoes, gives these moms an outlet unlike any other. These ladies are true heroes in our book.

 Brooke and Drew



Brooke and Drew, two amazing and sweet sisters, lost their dad in 2014. To help combat their distress, Cancer Services was there for them with open arms. In the summer, they participated in the inaugural session of Camp Koala, our summer camp program for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Additionally, they participate in our tutoring program and Drew had a blast at our trip to New Orleans in the fall. While their road ahead is tough and their journey is long, our goal is to be with them every step of the way.





Cassidy is a silly, fun and amazing 13 year old who finished chemo last year. At a party celebrating her last round of chemo, she requested that everyone wear a wig and have fun! Last summer, she attended Camp Care, our summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings, for the first time and LOVED meeting the LSU football players. Thanks for the smiles and laughs, Cassidy!


St. James


St. James_SWSSt. James Parish is a strong and tight community. In December, Gramercy Elementary School donated funds to help pay for their parish’s support group. Cancer Services serves 10 parishes and it is a pleasure traveling to different parishes and meeting so many wonderful people. The monthly St. James support group is truly a special bunch. Thanks so much to Gramercy Elementary for investing in your community and for supporting those going through the cancer journey!




Janet’s smiling face is the first thing clients and visitors see when they enter the Cancer Services building on Friday mornings. She has volunteered in our library for over three years and is the perfect person to greet people as they walk in. Volunteers like Janet are so important to our agency and we could never do all that we do without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. Janet says that she volunteers so that she can make a difference and see our clients smile. Thanks for making us and our clients smile, Janet! We appreciate you!


 Santa Claus



We know the holidays are over, but we couldn't help sharing this wonderful story. The Children's Holiday Party is always a blast and it is one of our favorite events! One of the highlights of the party is having Santa Claus there. We recently realized that Santa's been coming to our party for 20 years! Thank you, Santa, for adding some magic to our parties for so many years





Janet’s smiling face is the first thing clients and visitors see when they enter the Cancer Services building on Friday mornings. She has volunteered in our library for over three years and is the perfect person to greet people as they walk in.  Volunteers like Janet are so important to our agency and we could never do all that we do without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers.  Janet says that she volunteers so that she can make a difference and see our clients smile.  Thanks for making us and our clients smile, Janet!  We appreciate you!





Four year old Brady may be small, but her heart is huge! With the help of her mom, Robin, Brady purchased and donated several toys for kids in our children’s programs. Brady’s generosity, along with the generosity of so many individuals, groups and organizations, is ensuring a bright holiday season for so many children and families affected by cancer in our community. Thanks for the support, Brady! We appreciate you and your giving heart!




Michael’s brother Benjamin is a cancer survivor and he has been by his brother’s side throughout his journey. He is a longtime friend of Cancer Services and attends Camp Care. Michael recently celebrated a birthday on the same day as one of our teen outings. Michael said, “I had the best day ever! I did everything I ever wanted - I got to ride in a limo and ride a double decker bus. This is the best birthday ever!” Seeing joy in the lives of the amazing kids who go through such a difficult journey is what it is all about!

Thanks for making memories with us, Michael!


 Mr. George & Mr. Joe


In honor of November being Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, this installment of Stories Worth Sharing highlights two amazing pancreatic cancer survivors! At this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Survivorship Luncheon, Mr. George and Mr. Joe celebrated their 15th year of being cancer free! Now if that’s not something to smile about, we don’t know what is! Thanks for sharing this incredible milestone with us, Mr. George and Mr. Joe!



Red Six Media

At Cancer Services, we are truly lucky to have the support of a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers. They are part of the fabric of the Cancer Services family and play a vital role in the success of the agency. Red Six Media, a local advertising agency, has gone above and beyond for Cancer Services. They’ve donated countless hours to helping with rebranding efforts and have assisted with several marketing campaigns. Additionally, they volunteer with our kids during children’s events and have contributed presents to the Children’s Holiday Party. We love our volunteers and we love Red Six Media!



SusanJonesSWSCapital Chefs’ Showcase, Cancer Services’ signature fundraising event, has been a community tradition for over 30 years! This fun and festive event raises vital funds that help support Cancer Services’ mission of improving life for those living with cancer. The planning and execution of this event could not be done without the dedicated individuals on the Capital Chefs’ Showcase planning committee.

Susan Henry Jones has chaired this committee for the last several years. She spends countless hours working to ensure that the event is successful every year. Susan continues to go above and beyond and we are so appreciative that she shares her time and talents with Cancer Services!


PetTherapySWSCharles & Chase

 Longtime volunteer, friend and client, Charles Bennett, spends time with Chase, a pet therapy dog from LSU Vet School’s Tiger Human Animal Therapy Service (HATS). In September, the Tiger HATS program came to Cancer Services for Cancer 101 to show the benefits of pet therapy by establishing a human-animal bond. The animal is used as an integral part of the medical treatment process and promotes good health with recovery from illness and some diseases. It’s incredible to see the bond between Charles and Chase!

Blood Cancer Support Group



Every day of survivorship is a day to be celebrated! At Cancer Services we try to acknowledge and meet the needs of cancer survivors living in the community by hosting a variety of survivorship events. These include monthly luncheons and dinners where we honor survivors and host presentations related to their specific diagnosis. In September, we celebrated Blood Cancer Awareness month by hosting a Blood Cancer Survivorship Luncheon. It was an honor to spend some time with George, William “Pete”, Elaine, Latasha (pictured here) and other survivors who came together to share stories and celebrate life.



quinn.jpgIn honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, this installment of Stories Worth Sharing highlights one of our extraordinary breast cancer survivors and her family. Layne, breast cancer survivor since 2012, appreciates the time she has to spend with her family. In August, the entire family participated in one of our Art Therapy classes. This interactive class allowed the whole family to have fun and paint. Layne said, “this is the first time I have painted for fun!” It is the little moments in life that can often be the most special! Thanks so much to Layne and her family for sharing memories with us.

Pictured is Layne’s daughter, Quinn, with her masterpiece she called, “Rainbow Water”.

Tiana & Tyson


tyson-tianna.jpgTiana & Tyson attended Camp Koala, our summer camp program for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one. In 2013, they lost their brother Trevor to cancer. At camp, they got to partake in lots of fun activities, but also engaged in therapeutic activities to help them cope with their loss. Tiana, Tyson and all of the Camp Koala campers filled our halls with laughter and smiles and their courage and strength is inspirational! We love our amazing campers!

Ms. Phyllis

phyllis.jpgIf you mention the name Ms. Phyllis to anyone on the Cancer Services staff and to many of the Cancer Services’ volunteers and clients, they will flash a big smile! Ms. Phyllis is a longtime client and volunteer and people light up when she is around! She spends countless hours volunteering for Cancer Services and will drop everything to be of assistance to a client. Her warm smile, energetic demeanor and compassion is infectious and she is loved by all. Cancer Services is lucky to have such amazing and dedicated volunteers. We love you, Ms. Phyllis!


carolyn.jpgTo combat the pain and stress associated living with cancer, Cancer Services offers Reiki to our clients. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki treats the whole person—including body, emotions, mind and spirit—creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Volunteer Reiki Master, Carolyn, just started with Cancer Services. Carolyn is dedicated, compassionate and is excited to work with our clients to help them through their cancer journey. Welcome to the Cancer Services’ family, Carolyn.





A cancerdiagnosis can affect all facets of everyday life. David, a colon cancer survivor, understood this well after his diagnosis. Cancer Services, through a partnership with Get Your Rear in Gear, works with a local ostomy nurse, who gives personalized care to our clients who need ostomy assistance. By working with the nurse, utilizing our ostomy closet and coming to our monthly Colorectal Support Group, David has thrived. “Cancer Services helped me see that things were not as bad as they seemed and that I did not have to face this alone. They know my name when I come by. Now I not only accept my ostomy, but also see it as proof of my inner strength.” David is such an inspiration and we are truly honored to know him.

Mia, Tel & Jubal


camp-climb_mia-tel-jubal.jpgMia Zebouni-Cahow recently received a terminal diagnosis. She initially had breast cancer, but unfortunately it spread to her brain and spine. Tel (7) and Jubal (4), her sons, were having issues with her cancer returning. In 2014, both children attended the inaugural session of Camp Climb, a camp for children who have a parent or guardian battling cancer.

“My older one was—before he came here—he was really, 'no, you're gonna die, you're gonna die,'" explained Zebouni-Cahow. "He was getting angry a lot." Their attitudes quickly changed, however, upon enrolling in Camp Climb. "The kids are having a blast," she stated. "And then they're learning, really, every day they're learning something that will help them deal with whatever comes."

"I plan on being here for a long time," she stated, "but statistically, I might just be another four months, you know? So for me, it's just wonderful to know that this is preparing them for whatever happens, and it will be there later, too." She takes advantage of some of the programs Cancer Services offers herself, and believes her participation will increase because of how good Camp Climb was for her sons.

"This has been really good for them," she said. "And I know I can take them back for private counseling or play therapy at Cancer Services with these wonderful social workers that are there. So it means a lot to me."

De De & Nae Nae


smiths-web.jpgDe De Smith and her daughter, Nae Nae Smith, are cancer survivors. Nae Nae wanted to give back to other cancer patients, using her own experiences to help others through their battles. She went on to become a camp counselor for Cancer Services’ first Camp Climb while her sisters, D'Anshia and Di'Arbonee, attended camp. Nae Nae will also be a camp counselor for Camp Care, a camp specifically for children battling cancer and their siblings. Thanks for giving back and helping others, Nae Nae!