NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Renee's journey with breast cancer began in April 2013 when at 45, she discovered a lump in her right breast.
A mammogram verified that she had a tumor but with no history of breast cancer in her family, Renee felt pretty safe. Further testing showed that the tumor was not benign and doctors informed her that she had stage 2 triple negative breast cancer.
Renee would attack her cancer aggressively. She had a double mastectomy and radiation treatments.
She was clear of cancer for a while until about year after her surgeries it came back, this time in her lungs. Doctors confirmed that she had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, to which there is no cure.
Treatment for this type of breast cancer focuses on length and quality of life and when her doctors in Covington told her there was nothing more they could do, Renee began seeking treatments at MD Anderson.
The weekly trips began adding up with the costs of gas, hotels and meals.
"We've had friends ask for a long time to ask to do a fundraiser and we just felt uncomfortable with that because everybody has their issues but we finally gave into some persistent friends," Renee said.
What initially started out as a bunco party grew into something bigger.
"When we started talking to people and knew the turnout we had would be greater than a small bunco party we decided to dress it up a little bit," Becky Maillet Trahan said.
The friends expected approximately 75 people but more than 130 showed up.
"It's people that knew my parents, knew us growing up, high school friends, a lot of my teacher friends. There are some people that we don't even know that got word of this and came which is amazing," Renee said.
The friends raised $21,000 which will help with the travel expenses related to her weekly trips to Houston.
"It's been such an amazing thing to see how many donations have been made and how many friends have shown up. We feel truly blessed."