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Miles Perret Cancer Services’ Executive Director, Richard Stegall, and Sherry Hernandez, Community Liaison, spoke with Jan Swift of Discover Lafayette about the 19th Annual Games of Acadiana which will be held on August 17, 2019. This annual fun and family-friendly event was created in the aftermath of the tragic loss of Hank and Debbie Perret’s son, Miles Perret, to glioblastoma. Their vision then and now was to help others in Acadiana fight, survive and live with cancer with dignity and to have access to the services they may need.
Although Miles Perret lived only eight years, his was a life filled with curiosity, joy, and love. When Miles was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, his family determined right away that he would have as normal and carefree a life as possible. Their journey with him provided firsthand experience of the daily challenges of fighting cancer. Miles, unfortunately, lost his battle with cancer at the age in 1996.
A few years later, the Perret family started Games of Acadiana, a family-oriented fundraising event, first held August 25, 2001. The amazing success of the first Game Day enabled the Miles Perret Center to open less than a year later to help address the needs of local families.
Games of Acadiana is still the signature fundraiser of Miles Perret Cancer Services today, with approximately 100 sponsors making this free event possible. The Games are held as a tribute and way to say thanks to the community, the many volunteers that make Miles Perret’s services possible, as well as the survivors who have bravely faced cancer. While the games are free, you can contribute to Miles Perret Cancer Services by buying a GPS wristband that gives you an exclusive look inside a few games at the event. Come “Play With a Purpose” and help our community fight cancer by supporting this worthy cause. You can also contribute by sponsoring the Games or giving through “I’m In” with any level of gift you wish. Visit www.milesperret.org for more information.
Since 2002, Miles Perret Cancer Services has served over 16,000 families in Acadiana. In 2018 alone, 3400 families were helped. 100% of the funds raised stay in Acadiana. Parishes in their service area include Acadia, Avoyelles, Evangeline, Iberia, Jeff Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion. They offer 25 services and programs to the community, including prostheses, wigs, nutritional supplements, transportation assistance, a variety of medical supplies and equipment, a Wellness Center offering exercise and nutrition classes, and support groups. The staff works closely with local oncologists and hospitals to ensure that their services meet the needs of their clients. Mobile Miles offers outreach services to clients living in the parishes outside of Lafayette to coordinate delivery of needed items and services.
The day begins early with a triathlon suitable for all fitness levels for the first 350 who sign up: there is a 200-yard swim at UL-Bourgeois pool, and an 8-mile bike ride and 2-mile run along Cajundome Blvd. Visit
https://runsignup.com/Race/LA/Lafayette/MPCSTriathlon for details and to sign up.
Games of Acadiana starts at 10 a.m. with the Survivor Walk and Opening Ceremonies. At 10:30 a.m., the games officially begin. This year’s Games of Acadiana features over 50 games to be enjoyed by the whole family. There will be a toddler play area with a place to valet park strollers. Activities include life-sized Candyland, Home Run Derby, Hula Hoop, Monster Spider Jump, Zombie Laser Tag, and the Fastest Pitch game hosted by Rader Solutions, our podcast producer. Sherry’s favorite games include Wipeout and Monster Spider Jump, which she enjoys testing out! Please also check out the Miles Perret signature $6.00 spaghetti dish, $1.00 bake sale cookies, and Milesy Mart items for sale which may be purchased onsite with all proceeds going to benefit the center.
For more information on Game Day, or on the services provided by Miles Perret Cancer Services, visit http://www.milesperret.org or call 337-984-1920. Miles Perret Cancer Services also accepts private donations, memorial gifts, and grants. Miles Perret Cancer Services is a non-medical 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your donation is fully tax-deductible as a charitable donation under IRS tax regulations.