Life Savers Gala raises $100K+ for cancer patient lodging

LSU Health Shreveport Feist-Weiller Cancer Center- McDade House

Supporters of the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Feist-Weiller Cancer Center (FWCC) gathered at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on Thursday, February 8, 2024 for the annual Life Savers Gala. Life Savers is a celebration and opportunity to raise vital funds for North Louisiana’s only academic cancer center. Feist-Weiller serves an area with immense need and some of the highest incidences of cancer in the nation.

Life Savers proceeds to go towards renovating the McDade House

Feist-Weiller Interim Director, Richard Mansour, and Life Saver’s event chairs, Drs. Lauren and Sanjay Juneja, took to the stage partway through the evening for a major announcement: proceeds from Life Savers 2024 will be directed to renovate the McDade House. The home will serve as a hospitality house, providing temporary lodging for Feist-Weiller patients undergoing treatment. The McDade House originally opened in 1985 as the second-ever hospital hospitality house in the nation; it is located just steps from OLHS St. Mary Medical Center.

“This home will address a need for all of North Louisiana,” said Dr. Mansour. “So, I invite all of North Louisiana to get behind this effort to support those with serious cancers who need the unique treatments we provide at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.”

McDade House for cancer patients
A rendering of what the McDade house could look like after renovations. The McDade house will serve as temporary housing for local cancer patients.

About Drs. Sanjay and Lauren Juneja

Event Chairs Drs. Sanjay and Lauren Juneja are alumni of LSU Health Shreveport’s School of Medicine and Feist-Weiller’s Hematology/Oncology Fellowship. Dr. Sanjay Juneja is also known as the “OncDoc” on TikTok, sharing videos to his 600,000 followers about different cancers and emerging treatments – all with the goal of educating his audience so they feel prepared and empowered to handle a cancer diagnosis.

“As oncologists appreciating first-hand the challenges of everything surrounding a cancer diagnosis, we’re thrilled that funds raised through Life Savers 2024 will provide a housing facility for cancer patients receiving treatment at the Feist-Weiller,” said Dr. Sanjay Juneja. “A cancer diagnosis is hard enough. I am proud of my LSUHS & Feist-Weiller community taking the initiative to make that journey, a little less difficult.”

@theoncdoc lets make those facing the hardest times, shared times. support those #workingwithcancer ♬ original sound – Sanjay Juneja, M.D.

About Life Savers Gala 2024

Intrepid museum-goers were encouraged to dress to the theme and enjoyed food inspired by the movie and its characters, including Mediterranean, Polynesian, and Western bites cooked up by Fat Calf Brasserie.

A silent auction featured trips to the mountains in Montana, the beaches of Tulum, and picturesque Mykonos; artwork created by patients in Feist-Weiller’s Arts in Medicine program; a jewelry shopping spree; dinner cooked by a private chef; and a Caddo Lake Tour.

Attendees also had the opportunity to win prizes from a live pull auction. Prizes included jewelry, assorted wine and alcoholic spirits, and gift cards to local eateries, salon services, tennis lessons, and more.

Early estimates show the event raised more than $100,000 dollars thanks to the generosity of sponsors and patrons. All the proceeds will be directed to restoring and operating the McDade House.

About Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Feist-Weiller Cancer Center

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Feist-Weiller Cancer Center brings together specialists from many fields to provide outstanding cancer care to the people of north Louisiana and the surrounding region. In addition to providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary cancer care, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center (FWCC) gives patients access to national cancer clinical trials.

Collaboration between cancer researchers and treating physicians fosters a better understanding of cancer and leads to life-saving research breakthroughs. FWCC is also educating future leading oncologists through LSU Health Shreveport’s Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. As a designated Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Treatment, and Education, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center offers preeminent care and services to patients across the region.

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