RAYNE, La. (KLFY) Each month, we highlight a woman who is impacting Acadiana in her own way.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and News 10 anchor Tracy Wirtz visited with a Rayne woman, a survivor, and found out it was only one stop on her life journey.
“I was gonna marry Rickey Boudreaux and I was gonna be a hairstylist,” says Madelene Bourdreax.
She did both of those things in 1976.
In 2008, she found out she had breast cancer.
“It caught me off guard and just rocked my world.”
Chemotherapy wreaked havoc on her body, and made her hair fall out. After a few years, she discovered a product that could help people dealing with hair issues, so she signed up to be a consultant.
Bourdreax found more than just a product she believes in, she found a way to encourage women in general.
“It’s this creation of, I got you girl I got you let’s do this together, let’s run and you support other women,” Bourdreax said.
“I have chill saying that because it’s true that’s what I love about it,” Boudreaux says.
Madelene now has a team of about 100 ladies in her network. She still works in her salon, but on a part-time basis.
The mother of eight knows well what it’s like to balance taking care of children and needing an additional income.
“But when you buy from someone who’s working their business hard every day and they’re doing products that they truly love and are passionate about you’re paying for somebody’s dance class you’re paying for groceries on the table you’re literally helping that person and their family and their finances and I think it’s a beautiful thing,” she explains.
Her encouragement doesn’t stop with people on her team. The pandemic led to the creation of a virtual event for not only vendors, but also shoppers.
“And I tried to think of vendors who were probably not able to get out and do their home parties and the things they normally do and reached out and we got a nice group of people to participate and before I knew it people were in the group presenting their products with passion selling with love and it just took off like crazy,” Boudreaux states excitedly.
She and her family start every year by creating a list of things they want to focus or improve on. Her faith remains at the center, as does the word “servant.”
Over the years, she has not been afraid to step up when an opportunity to serve presents itself. It did following Hurricane Laura. A friend from Lake Charles shared that first responders needed supplies to help them do their jobs.
She says she was on board whole heartedly: “What are they need just tell me what they need and so we went on facebook and I said this is what they need and my garage was filled with things because people are wonderful.”
Within days, they delivered a truck load of supplies.
“It’s just without a passion serve people do something for others to help them.”
Bourdreax and her husband have tried to instill in their children and now grandchildren the importance of service with a joyful heart, in whatever form it takes. She appreciates that calling more after her battle with breast cancer.
“When people ask me about my cancer, I always tell them it was the best gift I ever had because of what it taught me; it gave me an appreciation for such intense joy in life that had I not had it, I may not feel this way today.”