Young Woman’s Caring Spirit Lives on in Gift to Mary Bird Perkins

The words above are just a few of the ways that Hillary Lanaux’s family describe her meaningful life.

Leaving a Legacy

This is why New Orleans residents Mr. and Mrs. Lanaux made a generous, transformational donation – one of the largest ever received across the state – to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go Program, which focuses on cancer prevention, education and early detection in Covington, Houma and surrounding parishes.

“This gift from my parents is really an offering to the community in honor of Dr. Saux and everyone who cared for Hillary, and for those now caring for my father,” said Hilda Lanaux.

“Hillary was a leader and was extremely empathetic to the plights of others. I know she would be so proud of how her grandparents’ gift will touch so many people.”

Why Early Detection is Important

Every year, 25,000 people in Louisiana and more than 3,500 people in the Covington and Houma areas alone are diagnosed with cancer each year. Chances of survival are much better when cancer is detected in its earliest stages, so raising awareness and increasing detection has become a life or death matter in Louisiana – ranked number four in the nation for highest cancer mortality rate. In fact, across the country, 80 percent of prostate cancer patients benefit from early detection while 99 percent of breast cancers are found early enough to treat and increase survivorship rates.

Services Close to Home in the Northshore and Bayou Regions

The Lanauxs’ gift is truly transformational in that it will fund prevention, education and early detection programs through the Northshore and Bayou regions where Mary Bird Perkins partners with St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Terrebonne General Medical Center. In these areas, the Cancer Center’s mobile medical unit travels throughout the Covington, Houma and beyond screening people for breast, colorectal, skin, oral and prostate cancers.

Currently, the Cancer Center’s mobile units provide nearly 50 screenings throughout the state each day. The Lanauxs’ gift will provide funding to Prevention on the Go for four years. Take a look at how this donation will impact the community.

Hillary Continues to Help Others

“Hillary was a people person and was president of her class in both her junior and senior years in high school. She was a mover and a shaker,” said Ethel Lanaux, Hillary’s grandmother. “While we don’t know how she would have impacted peoples’ lives in the future, she most certainly made the most of the short time she was with us. Our hope is that this gift in her name will help do the good that we know she would have done if she were still with us today.”

Through this gift, Hilary’s brave leadership and empathetic, helpful spirit will certainly live on.

For more information on how you can make a gift in memory or honor of someone special, visit our website.