Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center to Host Annual Fest for Life Event

Cancer and other health screenings for attendees while enjoying food, fun and entertainment

(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Fest for Life is back with the goal of saving more lives through early detection in a fun, festival-like environment. This year’s event will be held Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Fourth St. between North St. and Spanish Town Rd. In addition to health screenings, the event will include music, free t-shirts while supplies last, fun activities for children and adults and the chance to win prizes.

Johnnay Benjamin, director of early detection and education for the Cancer Center, says over 20 people have been diagnosed with cancer through Fest for Life, and other diseases have been detected as well.

“Fest for Life is focused on bringing the community together and educating people on cancer prevention and screening,” says Benjamin. “More and more we are learning that people don’t get the recommended cancer screenings due to a lack of time, awareness or other barriers, which can result in cancers going undetected. The relaxed, family-friendly environment of Fest for Life takes some fear out of cancer education and early detection.”

Since 2008, more than 5,700 individuals have been screened for cancer at Fest for Life, a free health event that includes cancer screenings, food, children’s activities and entertainment for the entire family. Free cancer screenings include colorectal, breast, prostate, skin and oral cavity. All screenings are available to those who have not been screened for cancer in the past 12 months. For more information, please call (225) 215-1234 or (888) 616-4687.

While Fest for Life’s focus is always on cancer education and early detection, the event goes beyond this one disease and addresses the many health problems impacting our city’s residents. In addition to cancer, mortality rates continue to soar for conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. As a result, blood pressure and glucose checks and other community health education and resources will be offered.

LSU Women’s Basketball Head Coach Nikki Fargas will be this year’s Fest for Life honorary chair. Members of the women’s basketball team will also be in attendance visiting with attendees, signing autographs and interacting in the children’s area.

Prior to Fest for Life beginning, the community is encouraged to bring their yoga mats and zen as Yogalates 2 South hosts the Cancer Center’s annual Geaux Yoga event starting at 9 a.m., at the State Capitol Formal Garden Lawn on Fourth Street and Spanish Town Road. Participants will enjoy a free, relaxing Yogalates 2 South class along with a picturesque view of the State Capitol, tasty bites and drinks provided by Mockler Beverage Company. Visit to learn more.

Special thanks to Fest for Life’s presenting sponsor, Karnival Krewe de Louisiane and to Geaux Yoga’s presenting sponsor, Republic Finance.

For additional information about Fest for Life and other upcoming screenings, please visit

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is monitoring all local, regional and national concerns related to COVID-19. Hand sanitization stations will be available throughout the event. All patient care areas are cleaned before and after each patient visit. If any event changes are made for Fest for Life or Geaux Yoga, the Cancer Center will immediately provide an update.


About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. The American College of Surgeons has named the Cancer Center a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for three consecutive survey cycles. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit