Blood drive, fundraiser will benefit Destrehan alum, deputy’s daughter 

Several weeks ago, an overjoyed Hannah Freitas received the news that her cancer was in remission; her journey took a difficult turn, however, when she learned this month that the illness has returned.

Earlier this year, Freitas had gone to her doctor for a PET scan in relation to the diagnosis she had received in August of 2023: small cell carcinoma of the ovary hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT), a very aggressive and very rare cancer. At just 24 years old at the time, Freitas was told this diagnosis carried a life expectancy of just 14 months.  Less than eight months later, she learned her cancer was in remission. 

But on April 16, Freitas shared news on social media that a PET scan revealed cancerous spots on her abdomen. She said she has no side effects and that her next course of treatment will be immunotherapy, which consists of a 90-minute infusion every three weeks, then eventually every six weeks for the rest of her life.

“It is a scary next chapter, as there are a lot of unknown obstacles ahead. I will be honest, it has been incredibly hard and frustrating knowing that terrible disease is back,” Freitas wrote. “But if I did not have the support of my friends and family this entire time, I truly could not keep pushing. I can only put into so many words how much it means to us.”

Freitas is a Destrehan High School alum. Her mother Melissa is a longtime St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputy. 

Doctors first discovered signs of the cancer when an emergency room visit to address a persisting pain in her stomach revealed Freitas’ problem was likely something much more than a typical stomach issue.

A tumor was removed just two weeks later and local area doctors had to send samples off to be reviewed and tested at a Northeast hospital, as Hannah’s tumor appeared to be so uncommon most local physicians had not seen a case of it locally before. It was later classified as SCCOHT. There are no established standard treatments for SCCOHT, and most patients are treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

This is the second time cancer has affected her family. Freitas lost her father, who passed away nearly 15 years ago following his own battle with the illness.  

The Fraternal Order of Police St. Charles Lodge No. 15 recently held a raffle fundraiser with proceeds to go toward helping Freitas and her family with medical expenses.

A GoFundMe was established by Renee Hebert, titled Hannah’s Fight, to help the family with medical expenses and treatment as Freitas takes this next step.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is also holding a blood drive on May 10 at the Sheriff’s Office’s training academy building (220 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway in
Luling), from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The drive is being sponsored by POST Academy Cadet Class 2024-39.

 

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