Next week, cancer survivors will light three celebration trees at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center during a special ceremony. The tree-lighting ceremony is part of the Cancer Center’s THRIVE survivorship program and is an annual tradition anticipated by survivors, families, and team members alike. Adorned with oyster shells hand-painted by survivors and team members, this year’s trees are symbols of hope, inspiration, and celebration.
Following suit with the Cancer Center’s tradition, the Breast & GYN Cancer Pavilion on the Woman’s Hospital campus held its first annual holiday tree-lighting event earlier this week, commemorating the inaugural holiday season for the unique partnership between the Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital. The Pavilion’s tree is decorated with nearly 100 miniature artist canvases displayed on easels with patients, families, and team members using acrylic paints to convey what is inspiring them this holiday season.
With a theme of “What inspires you?”, ornaments from both art projects depict a range of creativity from motivational words to sports-related images. Each Celebration Tree lighting program includes a poetry reading from a cancer survivor. Those diagnosed with cancer also do the honor of lighting the trees for the first time each season.
Laura Gaddy, M.A., coordinator for survivorship and integrative medicine, shared the significant role that decorating ornaments plays in enhancing the healing process.
“We have seen for years what an incredible impact this project and other Healing Arts activities have on patients’ well-being,” said Gaddy. “Research and science prove that art influences healing, and we are thrilled to offer this tool for relaxation to patients at the Cancer Center and, now, the Pavilion.”