Fundraiser announced for deputy’s daughter with rare cancer

The St. Charles Sheriff’s Office recently announced a raffle drawing fundraiser to be held on Facebook Live October 29 at 2 p.m. for cancer patient Hannah Freitas, daughter of longtime deputy Melissa Freitas, of the Special Services Unit.

Hannah Freitas, 24, was recently diagnosed with an unusual cancer known as small cell carcinoma of the ovary hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT). According to the American Association for Cancer Research, SCCOHT is a highly aggressive ovarian cancer so rare that fewer than 500 cases were reported to date in medical literature.

SCCOHT primarily affects young females under 40 years of age, with the median age of diagnosis being 24 years old, coincidentally being the current age of Freitas. There are no established standard treatments for SCCOHT, and most patients are treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Doctors first discovered signs of the cancer around two months ago, when an emergency room visit to address a persisting pain in her stomach revealed Hannah’s problem was likely something much more than typical stomach problems.

“She was having pain in her stomach, so on July 1, I brought [Hannah] to the emergency room and when they did a CT Scan, they noticed the tumor,” Melissa Freitas, 25-year St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy, said. “It was an extremely large tumor that probably weighed about four pounds.”

After the tumor was removed just two weeks later, local area doctors had to send samples off to be reviewed and tested at a Northeast area 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.

The younger Freitas is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment, which will later be followed by gene therapy at Tulane Hospital. Additional treatment and evaluation at MD Anderson in Houston are planned after treatments performed in local hospitals are completed.

“Right now, it’s kind of day by day,” Deputy Freitas said, regarding her daughter’s current condition. “I would say, just keep us in your prayers…[Hannah] lost her dad almost 13 years ago to cancer; this is our family’s second go-round with battling this disease.”

Tickets for the raffle are priced at $20 or $6 tickets for $100, with cash donations also accepted. Fundraiser event prizes will include Saints tickets, LSU tickets, bow fishing charters, sports memorabilia, home alarm system, wine refrigerator with more prizes to be announced. Fundraiser earnings will go to help defray Freitas’ medical costs as she battles this rare cancer.

For more information or to purchase raffle tickets, contact Clint Patterson or Michelle Joseph at Ph. 985-783-1355. Organizers have also set up a Facebook fan page under “Benefit for Hannah Freitas” as an additional point of contact.


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