The Story of Shantel
The story of Shantel Lanerie could be considered a fairy tale. She was a modern day princess, who could do tequila shots bellied up to the bar, or she could attend a State dinner and drink the most elegant wine. Her story could also be as many pages as the novel War and Peace. it is 1,225 pages in case you are wondering. I am going to make this story short and sweet and right to the point. That's the way Shantel would want it.
Shantel Renee Hebert was born on June 1, 1976, the second child to Katie and Riley Hebert, and was raised in Cecilia, Louisiana. Her childhood was a normal one. She had an older brother, she went to school, had plenty of friends, took dancing and was a cheerleader.
In her teens, she met Corey Lanerie, an aspiring jockey. They became high school sweet hearts and were together from then on. Corey began to establish himself as a very capable jockey and the two got married and began planning a family.
In 2008, Brittlyn Lanerie was born and Corey and Shantel were beaming with pride. Shantel took motherhood like Justify took to the race track.
For those of you that knew Shantel, or have read the testaments to her, you know she was a special lady. She was not only beautiful on the outside, but her beauty also radiated from inside. She was a wonderful person. There are not enough great adjectives in the dictionary to describe Shantel Lanerie.
Fast forward to late January 2018. Shantel was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer when two tumors were found. After further testing, a third tumor was detected and treatment plans were immediately put into motion.
Her physician prescribed two rounds of chemotherapy that would hopefully shrink the tumors followed by a recommendation for a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. While chemotherapy can take a enormous toll on the body, Shantel rarely complained and kept such a positive attitude with statements like, "Bra, I got this"
Shantel gained national attention when she led the Breast Cancer Survivors Walkover prior to the running of the Kentucky Oaks, the three-year-old fillies version of the Kentucky Derby. The news coverage showed Shantel leading the way, accompanied by her daughter Brittlyn and a large group of cancer survivors. It was an event that was an amazing honor for Shantel and her family.
The second round of chemotherapy was much harder. All of the chemo horror stories were happening, but Shantel, being the tough Cajun girl she was, persevered and never complained.
Tragically, Shantel was admitted to the emergency room in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, June 21, 2018 after lapsing into a coma. Shantal Lanerie died on Friday, June 22, 2018.
There is so much more I could write in this story, but sadly the end is always the same. This Foundation was created to honor Shantel. Her legacy of compassion and caring will carry on through her family, dear friends, and this Foundation.