Destrehan students step up fight against breast cancer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 19, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – Lynette Matthews, a physical education instructor at Destrehan High School, recently organized an interactive program in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, after being inspired by three school employees who are currently managing the disease.
Matthews and her students debuted “Stepping Out Against Cancer” last Friday, to an audience of at least 100 parents, students and community members.
Around 15 groups of students performed self-choreographed step aerobics routines, wearing pink shirts made specifically for their special night. Two of the three employees the program was intended to honor, Paula Sanchez and Glenda LeBoyd, were also present.
Matthews said participants also handed out informational brochures about breast cancer and discussed cancer awareness between sets.
Door prizes and breast cancer-themed refreshments were provided.
Tenth-grade student Shannon Tate, 16, said he was hesitant to participate in the program at first but caved because someone close to him was a survivor.
“I thought about it, and at first I was thinking I didn’t want to participate. But then I thought, my mom had cancer, so I’ll dedicate this to her and do it for her,” he said. “[Her illness] was stressful for me. She said she was OK, but as a child, I was stressed out and thinking what can I do.”
Tate’s mother endured breast and ovarian cancer in 2007.
Matthews was happy to see the community support at the event.
“I think it went over very well. Even the people in the community were talking about it afterward. It’s basically just spreading awareness and letting people know about what’s going on in our area, and maybe teaching some things they didn’t know about breast cancer through the pamphlets,” she said.