After third cancer diagnosis, local mother undergoing experimental treatment
BATON ROUGE - She's already beaten cancer twice, but her fight's not over yet.
Treva Parolli-Barnes began her bouts with breast cancer when she was 35 years old. After her first diagnosis, she immediately got a mastectomy and began chemotherapy until she was cancer-free.
To her surprise, the potentially deadly illness came back with a force 3 years later.
"The second time, I was punched in the gut. You think you got it and boom it's back," Barnes said.
Ten years later, with her husband and her 15-year-old daughter by her side, she's fighting back cancer for the third time in her life.
“I was just like yeah I got cancer, but I had some choice words for cancer,” Barnes said.
She learned just a few months ago that she has a rare genetic mutation called Li-Fraumeni, which has caused her cancer to return on multiple occasions. It's so rare that only one in about 20-thousand people get it.
“Its super rare but it kinda explains a lot on why I keep getting it without external history or the typical high-risk factors,” said Barnes
She is now trying to rid herself of the sickness once again with a new experimental form of immunotherapy for breast cancer. Doctors say the therapy will use her own immune system to attack the cancer. However, because of the nature of the treatment, it's not covered by insurance.
Barnes says she isn't doing this just for herself but for her daughter too. Her daughter Bella has not been tested for cancer yet, but experts say she has a fair chance of being diagnosed herself. If the treatment works on her, she hopes that it could also work for her daughter should the need arise.
"She's a fighter too, so I feel like if she has to face this burden, she'll win the battle. She's a fighter for sure," Barnes said.
Treva is now undergoing multiple tests to prepare for her therapy. She's not giving up, and she'll continue fighting one day at a time.
"No matter how bad you think you have it somebody always has it worse than you so you just you go. You just do, just put one foot in front of the other, just laser focus you fight you survive," Barnes said.
A friend of Treva's created a page to help raise money for her Immunotherapy. To learn more about Treva's fight or to donate click here.