More than 200 Ascension Parish residents took proactive measures to protect their health by participating in Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Live Well Ascension event Nov. 2 at Jambalaya Park in Gonzales.

In conjunction with the Gonzales Area Foundation, screenings for five different types of cancer and other health screenings were available to attendees free of charge.

“The partnership between the Cancer Center and the Gonzales Area Foundation is critical to the success of Live Well Ascension,” said Johnnay Benjamin, director of early detection and education at Mary Bird Perkins. “Events of this magnitude require many resources. Everyone involved in the foundation went above and beyond to make sure we reached as many people as possible, offering comprehensive prevention and early detection services in a fun, family-friendly environment.”

Live Well cancer screenings included breast, prostate, skin, colorectal and oral cavity, along with blood pressure and glucose checks, according to a news release. Participants who received an abnormal finding are being assisted by a patient navigator to ensure necessary follow-up care is promptly provided.

In addition to the health aspects of the event, Live Well Ascension included activities for the whole family. A highlight of this year’s event was an appearance by head coach Nikki Fargas and members of the LSU women's basketball team who signed autographs, danced with attendees and played with children.

The Cancer Center offers screenings throughout the year. For more information, call (225) 215-1234 or visit