Cancer Center’s Tree Lighting Ceremony Celebrates Survivorship

Ornaments created by cancer survivors reflect spirit of hope at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center


(Baton Rouge, La.) Jingle bells rang out during the countdown of the inaugural Celebration Tree lighting at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, Dec. 3. Three Celebration Trees were lit and adorned with ornaments hand-painted by cancer survivors and family members, as well as Cancer Center team members.

The theme for the art project, an offering of the Cancer Center’s survivorship program, was “Paint Your Own Dream.” Through ornament painting, participants expressed how they envisioned a perfect holiday. Creating a unique design on a mini canvas proved to be inspirational and fun for so many that it ultimately took three trees to hold all 375 framed masterpieces. The project was led by artist Maddallyn DeArmond and other Cancer Center volunteers.

Individual jingle bells, each on a lanyard and accompanied by a holiday card, were distributed to those attending the tree lighting event. The bells symbolized the Celebration Bell that survivors ring on their last day of treatment.
“Just like each ornament on these beautiful trees, each patient shines in a different way,” said Linda Lee, the Cancer Center’s Administrator. “It’s a wonderful expression of what our patients mean to us.”   An inspirational poem read by a cancer survivor Paula Samuels provided a special touch for the occasion. Lighting the trees were cancer survivors Nancy Fillastre, Barry DeArmond and Cindy Cook.


As a Gulf South destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers advanced technology and services provided by nationally-recognized doctors and other oncology health professionals who have dedicated their lives to fighting the disease. The Cancer Center is consistently recognized for its dedication to offering leading-edge, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey.