The spirit of hope filled the annual holiday tree lighting and survivorship holiday party at Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center on Dec. 5.
The celebration included the lighting of three celebration trees adorned with ornaments hand-painted by cancer survivors, family members, volunteers and cancer center team members.
The ornament painting project, called “What Inspires You?” was part of the cancer center’s THRIVE survivorship program. Participants shared through pictures and positive words what will inspire them during the holiday season by painting them on miniature artist canvases on easels, which were hung on the trees as ornaments. Nearly 300 works of art were created for the trees.
Francinne Lawrence, manager of the cancer center’s survivorship and integrative medicine department, led a brief program during which she talked about how the ornament project is part of the cancer center’s Healing Arts program.
“Much like the beautiful, soothing environment of the cancer center, Healing Arts is another tool we use to place survivors in a more open and relaxed state of mind to help them heal and begin anew after treatment,” Lawrence said. “The cancer center’s approach is to take every opportunity through medicine, programs and supportive services to help patients thrive after a cancer diagnosis.”
Cancer survivor Paula Samuels read inspirational poems during the program and Lawrence thanked the volunteers who assisted with the ornament decoration program, including Susan Cresap, Velma Alford and Petronilla Neal.
A special recognition award was presented to The Red Shoes, a nonprofit center offering opportunities for spiritual enrichment and personal growth through book and film studies, weekend retreats and workshops, a news release said. The organization received the award for its support in providing services to cancer survivors.