My brother called me yesterday and he could barely contain himself.
“I got a hole in one!” he exclaimed over the phone. He had the thrill of a 12-year-old in his voice and I could feel his excitement as if he was right in front of me not across the country in Indianapolis. I stood in my kitchen with the biggest smile on my face as he regaled me with details of the big shot.
I must be attracting that kind of energy these days. After a presentation at PetroQuest last week, I was talking with Angelle Perret about bringing her kids on TV to hula hoop during a segment to promote Games of Acadiana.
Angelle said, “You know, I’m the hula hoop champion from Games of Acadiana!”
No matter how old we get, we’re all kids at heart.
For nine years now, Hank and Debbie Perret have captured that spirit during Games of Acadiana. Games of Acadiana is the major fundraiser for Miles Perret Cancer Services. Our mission is to help anyone diagnosed with cancer. They were moved to help after losing their son Miles to cancer when he was eight.
Since that first Games of Acadiana, Miles Perret Cancer Services has helped more than 6400 families. Our services are always free and come in many forms.
A new addition to our services is our Miles Strong program. It’s a small group exercise program for people going through chemotherapy and radiation.
The survivors who have taken part could hardly get out of bed when they first started, much less get on a treadmill. They felt rotten (to say the least). They met twice a week for ten weeks and our Wellness Director tracked things like endurance, fatigue and quality of life. At the end of ten weeks, all the women were stronger.
They forged bonds with each other as they struggled to go an extra minute on the bike or lift a few more pounds. About half way through the first group, one of the women showed up and said, “I have a problem.”
They were all worried. It was hard not to think the worst.
She said, “I have an event to go to Friday night and I have nothing to wear!”
What came next might as well have been said in unison with women around the world.
“That’s not a problem!”
She had gained 30 pounds and was bald, but they knew what to do.
They met at the Center the next day and brought outfits for her to try on. She found one that looked good.
Then they convinced her to try on wigs. She had never worn one. Suddenly, she had hair!
Just let us draw on eyebrows, they said. She let them.
When she looked in the mirror, she didn’t have a problem anymore.
During Games of Acadiana on August 15, Miles Perret Cancer Services will honor our eight Miles Strong women. They are brave and strong and we are honored that their story is our story.