Cancer Survivors Celebrate with Tree Lighting Ceremonies

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


(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center held its annual holiday tree lighting and survivorship holiday party Tuesday, Dec. 5. Three Celebration Trees were lit and adorned with oyster shells hand-painted by cancer survivors and family members, volunteers, and Cancer Center team members.

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 last week, commemorating the inagural 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.

The theme for both art projects, offerings of the Cancer Center’s THRIVE survivorship program, is “What inspires you?” Through ornament painting, participants used pictures and positive words to convey what inspires them this holiday season. Between the two campuses, more than 400 pieces ornaments were decorated by patients, family and team members.

Laura Gaddy, coordinator of the Cancer Center’s survivorship and integrative medicine department, shared how decorating the ornaments is part of the organization’s Healing Arts program. Art is proven through research and science to influence healing and make a significant impact on patients.

“Much like the beautiful, soothing environments of the Cancer Center and Pavilion, Healing Art is one of the tools we use to place survivors in a more open and relaxed state of mind that helps them heal and begin anew after treatment,” said Gaddy. “Our approach is to take every opportunity through medicine, programs and supportive services to help patients thrive after a cancer diagnosis.”

As part of both programs, inspirational poems were read by cancer survivors, and volunteers who helped coordinate the ornament decorating were thanked.


About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advance technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™. The American College of Surgeons has named the Cancer Center a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for three consecutive survey cycles. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit