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Tree gives hope for cancer patients
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Emanuel Medical Center will add “hope” to its holiday wish list this year with a new Christmas tree decorated with ornaments made for and by cancer patients and survivors.

We hope this will be a special way for people to combat cancer with creativity,” said Sanjiv Kashyap, executive director of the Emanuel Cancer Center. “Ornaments should be personalized to represent the person’s hobbies, favorite things, profession or personal journey.” This tree will be displayed in the Emanuel Cancer Center throughout the month of December. All cancer patients and survivors, along with relatives of patients and survivors, are welcome to submit an ornament. “This also provides something for our patients to do during treatment. For example, if someone comes in for chemotherapy on Wednesday and they sit for five hours they can make an ornament for something to do,” said Pennie Rorex, spokeswoman for Emanuel Medical Center. Rorex said that the medical center will have two Christmas trees this year, the Cancer Center tree and the traditional Love Light Commemorative Tree in the hospital’s main lobby. Hospice of Emanuel sponsors the Love Light Commemorative Tree as a fundraiser for Hospice services and a way to memorialize loved ones.

Community members can make a donation to the Love Light Tree in someone’s memory if they have passed away, or someone’s honor if they are struggling with any illness. They get a light on our tree and the honoree’s name on a scroll in the lobby.

“We have done the Love Light tree for many years and it will continue,” Rorex said.

 Rorex emphasized that the new Emanuel Cancer Center tree is different from the Love Light tree.

“The difference is that the Cancer Center tree is more specifically for current cancer patients and survivors. Its purpose is not to memorialize but to help our patients and anyone fighting cancer with a form of art therapy,” Rorex said.

Completed ornaments for Emanuel Cancer Center’s tree should be no bigger than four inches by four inches. They may be made of any material, and should include a hook or ribbon for hanging. Emanuel  Cancer Center asks that only first names are used on the ornament, with no last names. No donation is requested for hanging the Cancer Center tree ornaments, aside from what the creator spends to make the ornament.

“We feel that our patients in treatment give enough of themselves already,” Rorex said.

Completed ornaments for the Emanuel Cancer Center tree can be dropped off anytime in November to the Concierge Desk in the main lobby of the Emanuel Cancer Center at 880 E. Tuolumne Road between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fragile ornaments should be packed securely. The public is invited to stop by any time during business hours to see the tree and the hand-made ornaments starting in December. For more information about Hospice of Emanuel’s Love Light Commemorative Tree, which will be on display in the main lobby of the hospital beginning Dec. 3, or to purchase a Love Light Commemorative, call Emanuel’s Office of Development at 664-5180. The lighting of the Love Light tree will take place 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 at Monte Vista Chapel.To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.