Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Recurrence foils woman's try to thank med team

Breast cancer survivor buys 26 Gaga tickets to thank support system but dies before concert

Life is filled with sad ironies.

Such as the recent case of a breast cancer survivor spending $10,000 to buy 26 tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Washington, D.C., to thank her medical team and family-and-friends support system, only to die three months before she could attend.

According to news reports, Melissa Anne Dabas, 42, passed away listening to a Lady Gaga song while holding hands with her anesthesiologist husband, Jay.

Melisa Anne Dabas and her sons.
The Virginia mother of two boys, a super-fan of the pop singer, had been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in the spring of 2016, underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, and was declared cancer-free.

But the disease returned.

The tickets included 18 box seats valued at $1,500 each. Her family decided to raffle off 10 of them to benefit their newly established Melissa Ann Dabas Charitable Trust, an adjunct of the Winchester Medical Center Foundation's Angel Fund.

The aim? To help cancer patients with non-medical expenses.

The concert is scheduled for Nov. 19. Jay is planning to go with their two sons — Avinash, 11, and Sajan, 8 — and is planning to take a large photo of his late wife so she, in a sense, can be there.

Jay wrote on his Facebook page that raising funds via the raffle may "help me keep her voice and spirit and legacy alive."

A story by Petula Dvorak in The Independent, a British publication, quotes him as saying, "I'd get home from work, and she'd tell me all these stories — not about herself but how these people were having a hard time buying food. Or who's going to pay the rent? These people were all having a difficult time covering the non-medical expenses of cancer. Cancer doesn't discriminate, it doesn't only affect people who are able to pay. And this really bothered her. And it was something she never got to do anything about."

To learn more about the disease, its treatments and its aftermath, check out "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at caregivers.

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