Coworkers share friendship, office, cancer survival

Cyndi Jones (L) and Julie Aillet (R)
Cyndi Jones (L) and Julie Aillet (R)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Julie Aillet and Cyndi Jones have worked side by side at the West Baton Rouge Library for 17 years.

"In our library we have a family atmosphere," said Jones.

Almost five years ago, Cyndi was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She went through a clinical trial at the Pennington Cancer Center at Baton Rouge General which was testing a method that could determine if a patient needed chemo.  For more on that trial, click here. Cyndi did not, and went through radiation treatment.  She is now considered cancer free.

"It's a big accomplishment. It's nothing that I did though. It's the doctors; it's the treatment. It's a lot of people who had to make sure that happened for me," said Jones.

Then a year and half ago, her neighbor in the office was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It's scary. It makes you numb," said Aillet.

But, Julie didn't have to go through the process alone.  Cyndi was with her every step of the way.

It turns out Cyndi helped in a way neither of the women could have expected. Cyndi's clinical trial was now used as a standard treatment test.

I went into that clinical trial, I just thought it was just me and I would never know someone who benefited," said Jones. "Then Julie and I have worked together for 17 years in the library, shared an office all these years and when her doctor mentioned that he actually thanked me."

Now that they're both cancer free, the women hope to provide support for other cancer patients and they have an urgent message for women.

"My previous mammogram had been one year and one day. That had grown inside of me in one year and one day, which is why I push so hard for people to have those mammograms," said Aillet.

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