After scans showed she had beaten breast cancer at the end of 2016, Melissa Dabas did what anyone with a new lease on life would do: She celebrated.
Melissa, a hardcore Lady Gaga fan from Winchester, Virginia, decided to go all-in on 26 tickets to the DC stop of Lady Gaga’s Joanne tour in November. The price tag was north of $10,000 but the money paled in comparison to what promised to be the party of a lifetime for her friends, family and fellow cancer survivors.
Then, a few weeks later, her back started hurting. Her husband, Dr. Sanjay Dabas, an anesthesiologist, saw her scans and delivered heart-wrenching news. Her cancer was back, and it was aggressive. Melissa Dabas died on September 2.
Sanjay Dabas and the couple’s two sons felt they needed to do something to keep Melissa’s vision of celebration and hope alive.
Sanjay told radio station WINC he reached out to the Winchester Medical Center where he worked and learned about the Angel Fund, which helps cancer patients with non-medical expenses.
“This is something that Melissa definitely would have cherished and held close to her heart,” he told WINC. “Because she was always wanting to help people who are disadvantaged, ever since she was a child, and maybe give a stronger voice to those who did not have one.”
The Dabas family decided to raffle off 10 of the tickets — prime box seats — to benefit their new mission under the Angel Fund: The Melissa Ann Dabas Charitable Trust.
The tickets are $100 apiece, and five winners will get two seats and round-trip transportation to the show at the Capital One Arena in Washington on November 19.
Sanjay and the Dabas’ two sons will also be in attendance. Sanjay wrote on his Facebook page that is he planning on taking a large photo of Melissa so that she can be there, too.