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For Melissa Dabas, Lady Gaga's Nov. 19 concert in Washington, D.C. was supposed to be a celebration of life. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016, Dabas appeared in February to have beaten the illness — and celebrated by purchasing 26 concert tickets to give to her family, friends and treatment team.
Sadly, Dabas did not live long enough to see Lady Gaga perform. The cancer came back and Dabas passed away on Sept. 2 at 42 years old. But the tickets have given Dabas' surviving family members a unique way to honor her memory.
Jay Dabas, Melissa's husband, will donate some of the box tickets to the Winchester Medical Center, where he is an anesthesiologist. The center will raffle off the tickets, valued at $1,500, for $100 apiece. Proceeds from the raffle will go toward creating the Melissa Anne Dabas Trust, which will help cancer patients with non-medical expenses.
"I started to see the world a little bit though (Melissa's) eyes, and how she would see people and how she would reach out to people,” Jay told NBC Washington of the idea's conception. “The kids and I thought this would be a great way to honor her and keep her memory alive to create a fund that could help people in the future."
Jay and the couple's two children will also attend the concert. Jay told NBC Washington that he believes Melissa will be with them in spirit.
Raffle tickets can be purchased by calling 540-536-4736. The lottery will close on Nov. 12, and winners will be drawn on Nov. 14.
Even though they have "A Million Reasons" to mourn, how beautiful that this family has found a way to pay it forward.