‘Tutu Trot’ for cancer awareness is Saturday

Published 3:47 am Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Bogalusa Strong, the Cancer Association of Louisiana/Greater New Orleans, Bogalusa and Washington Parish local cancer survivors invites all community members to join them for the first annual “We CAN-CER Vive” Tutu Trot this Saturday, Nov. 9, at 8 a.m. at Cassidy Park.

This event will raise funds to benefit Washington Parish cancer patients, survivors and their families to help them cope with the physical and emotional challenges of a cancer diagnosis and the survivors’ journey. The mission is to raise awareness, educate and support local cancer patients and survivors. The Tutu Trot provides an opportunity for families, community members, churches, businesses, and community organizations to run, walk, trot or wobble to support their neighbors, family members, employees currently on this journey or to walk in memory of a loved one. It is a day to celebrate the hope and strength of survivors.

Major advancements in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in longer survival. However, surviving cancer can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, emotional, and financial hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Cancer patients and survivors may face many challenges including access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, denial of health and life insurance coverage, financial hardships long after the initial diagnosis and treatment, employment problems, fatigue, pain, damage to other organs from the cancer treatment. Other challenges may include loss of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, premature menopause, depression, strain on personal relationships and the profound fear of recurrence. However, cancer survivors can live active, productive lives even though they still face many challenges.

The We CAN-CER Vive event is a celebration honoring our local cancer survivors and those who support them, and to call attention to the issues of cancer survivorship. Tutu Trot Funding will provide nutrition, transportation support and other needs for cancer patients and provide a monthly “We CAN-CER Vive support program for patients and survivors. The support meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Washington Parish United Way office in Bogalusa, with meeting location pending in Franklinton.

Dr. Jay Saux, medical oncologist with Northshore Oncology & Associates, will be the Grand Marshal for the trot, along with his group of pirates leading the trot. Celebrity judges Mayor Wendy Perrette, City Council President Teddy Drummond and Sheriff Randy Seal will be judging the tutu contests for the Wild & Tutued Award; Most Creative Tutu Family, Tutu Child, and Tutu Student. Over 20 booths to include food, kids’ events, community support organizations and vendors will be available.

“Whether you’re a survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional, you’ll find our community’s event overflowing with camaraderie, compassion, faith, dreams, love and celebration.” said Taffy Morrison, Bogalusa Strong Well-Ahead Louisiana Healthy Communities Coach.

“Come and have a great time and learn why surviving is an attitude about life and living each day to the fullest,” said Susan Stewart, a local cancer survivor. “This day is also a time to thank healthcare professionals, families and friends for their unending support.”

Individual, family and group registration are also available. Groups of four or more are encouraged to register as teams to receive a discount. Tutus are encouraged but not required. Tutus can be purchased during online registration at www.cagno.org or on the day of the event. Garters and headbands may also be worn in addition to the tutu or by themselves. Garters will be available for purchase at the event. Sponsorship and donations also accepted.

“And when it’s all said and done, how will you feel about having attended our first annual ‘We CAN-CER Vive’ Tutu Trot? All who attend the event will feel the power and triumph of the human spirit. There will be also many smiles, laughter and plenty of hugs to go around,” said Tutu Trot committee member Sharon Lemier.

Registration for the We CAN-CER Tutu Trot is available at wwwcagno.org, with free T-shirts given to the first 50 to register. Registration fees are: Adults — $25; Youth (11-17) — $10; Child 10 and under — $5; group rates available for teams. Race-day Registration is at 7 a.m., the Kids Tutu Trot Fun Run (one-mile) is at 8 a.m., and the Tutu Trot (one-mile or 5K) is at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Tammy Swindle at 504-733-5539 or tswindle@cagno.org.

Bogalusa Strong is a collaborative partnership of community members, leaders, businesses and organizations working together to improve our quality of life by promoting physical, social, and environmental health where we live, learn, work, pray and play. Bogalusa Strong is supported by the Mayor, the Mayor’s Wellness Council, Our Lady of Angels Hospital, LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Department of Health Well-Ahead Louisiana and over 90 community members and organizations.

The Cancer Association of Louisiana/Greater New Orleans promotes cancer survivorship through education, patient services and research. With a mission is to assist local cancer patients and their families by providing support that will enable them to continue their treatment leading to survivorship.