Photo by Jeannie Frey Rhodes

In Character: Cherie Giblin

Cherie Giblin… a person of character

CONSIDERING, she has a big heart, an infectious smile and a grateful attitude. She is kind and genuine and can always be counted on to help those in need.

CONSIDERING, she is a colon cancer survivor. Like many who find out that they have this form of cancer, she had no symptoms and no reasons to believe that she would be at risk. A routine exam in 2013 revealed that she had gone from one polyp to stage-2 colon cancer in three years. “‘You have cancer.’ Those three words will take your breath away, put you in a state of shock and disbelief, and you think this can’t be happening to me. But it did happen to me, and I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, known as the silent killer.”

CONSIDERING, she is aggressive when necessary and took her prognosis seriously. She had surgery to remove the mass and part of her colon, then followed it up with 12 rounds of chemotherapy. “With the help and assistance of my family, friends and my wonderful oncologist and his staff, I made it through. No more chemo drugs, no more needles and no more port. Best of all, I had a blast at my ‘No More Chemo’ party.”

CONSIDERING, she counts her strong faith and her friends and family as the foundation that keeps her going through hard times. And she has gone through hard times in the past. In 2008, she and husband Pat lost their 32-year-old son Jay in a tragic car accident. They keep his memory alive by speaking of him often and attending fundraising events that his peers organize to benefit the Jay Giblin Foundation, with money raised going to groups that were dear to Jay’s heart.

CONSIDERING, she has weathered many storms and each has given her a silent strength. She actually rode out a real storm—Hurricane Audrey—as a young child in Cameron Parish. When the waters rose quickly overnight, her family took refuge in an oak tree and hung on until the floods subsided. Her grandfather died during the storm.

CONSIDERING, she has been married to Pat for 43 years. She counts her daughter Janay and granddaughter McCall as bringing true joy to her life every day. She is a very involved grandmother.

CONSIDERING, she has been a real estate agent for 20 years and loves meeting new people through her work. She has no desire to slow down. She is a natural-born problem solver, and others seek her wisdom and advice.

CONSIDERING, she is a true example of someone who has endured the trials of life and still manages to encourage others and care for those around her with a happy heart. And she is vocal about being an advocate for yourself. “My advice is always ‘Don’t wait!’ Colon cancer is treatable if there is early detection.”

Publisher and Editor Ashley Gordon nominates a person of character from the Baton Rouge community each month. [email protected]