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Tree of Hope Ceremony Honors Cancer Patients, Raises Money for Support Services

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP) will hold its 14th annual Tree of Hope Ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9.

The Tree of Hope Ceremony is an annual fundraising event that has raised thousands of dollars to support counseling and other support services for cancer patients and their families each year without charge.

"The tree lighting ceremony honors those whose lives have been touched by cancer," said Rachel Schanberg, DCPSP director. "The Nancy Emerson Tree of Hope stands ablaze with lights in this darkest month of the year, attesting to the courage, strength and hope shown by patients with cancer and their families. It's an extraordinarily moving event."

A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Duke Clinics lobby, just prior to the lighting ceremony, during which H. Kim Lyerly, M.D., director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (DCCC), will speak. The lighting ceremony will take place in the Seese-Thornton Garden of Tranquility, adjacent to the Duke Morris Cancer Clinic on Trent Drive.

During the tree lighting ceremony, the Light of Hope, which sits atop the tree, will be presented to two individuals who have gone to extraordinary means to support cancer patients and their families. This year, the Light of Hope honorees are former director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center O. Michael Colvin, M.D., and his wife Macey.

Colvin served as DCCC director from 1995 until 2002. He currently serves as director emeritus of the center, is a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology and continues his cancer pharmacology and therapeutic research. He received R. Wayne Rundles Award for excellence in cancer research in 2003. He is on the boards of several cancer centers and served on the Caring House Board of Directors.

Macey Colvin has been a volunteer for the DCPSP since August 1995. She currently serves as chair of the Garden of Tranquility Committee, which promotes naming opportunities in the garden, including a walkway of inscribed bricks. The Colvins are on the DCPSP Advisory Board.

Individuals may purchase lights on the Tree of Hope in memory or honor of loved ones for $10 each or three for $25. Anyone who purchases a light is invited to attend the Lighting Ceremony. A Book of Honor listing the names of those for whom lights have been purchased remains on display outside the door to the Patient/Family Resource Center, and a plaque listing the names of past Light of Hope recipients is permanently on display in the Morris Building Lobby.

Those wishing to purchase a light should visit www.cancer.duke.edu/support/tree.asp or stop by the Cancer Patient Support Program offices in the Morris Cancer Clinic. For more information, call 684-8760.
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DCPSP offers counseling, support groups, educational resources, a self-image program and other resources to help patients and families cope with the impact of cancer on their lives. All services are available to those treated at Duke or elsewhere in the community. DCPSP offers continued support at no cost to patients and their families through the time of diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and in the circumstances surrounding end of life.

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