Lights of Love shines throughout Southwest Georgia

Published 1:57 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

Tree lighting ceremony to be held Dec. 6 at Phoebe Sumter


AMERICUS —  Lights of Love will shine brightly throughout Southwest Georgia this year as the beloved fundraiser for cancer patients and families will be celebrated with a Lights of Love tree on each Phoebe campus – Phoebe Sumter in Americus, Phoebe Worth in Sylvester, and Phoebe Cancer Center in Albany. Nancy Jones, of Americus and cancer survivor, has been named the honorary tree lighter for Phoebe Sumter at the 7 p.m. Dec. 6 ceremony held inside the hospital’s main lobby.

“We are excited this year to unite our communities by having Lights of Love Trees on each of our hospital campuses, celebrating cancer survivors and families throughout Southwest Georgia,” said Lauren Ray, executive director of Phoebe Foundation. “Proceeds will go to purchase items to benefit cancer patients preparing for and undergoing treatment at each location.”

In December 2003, Jones, 71, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During her treatment, she received eight chemotherapy treatments followed by 20 rounds of radiation at Phoebe Sumter. She admits treatment wasn’t easy but the people who surrounded her made hard times more bearable and for that she is grateful.

Today Jones celebrates a clean bill of health. She says, “Cancer truly changed my life, I’m here to see my children and my grandchildren. I’m thankful for that every single day.”

The other honorary tree lighters are Linda and Lem Griffin of Albany and DeDe Hathcock of Sylvester. All cancer survivors, they will join family, friends, and the public during special ceremonies on each respective campus. Their stories of hope, along with Nancy’s, can be found by visiting

Started in 1983, by the Junior Woman’s Club of Albany, Lights of Love has since raised more than $1 million for cancer services and patients at Phoebe Cancer Center. This year’s donations will go towards a new Lights of Love van for the region as well as oncology needs for patients at the three hospitals. The Lights of Love van is available to transport patients – free of charge – throughout Colquitt, Crisp, Dougherty, Lee, Sumter, Worth, and Terrell counties to and from oncology appointments. In 2016, more than 2,000 trips throughout Southwest Georgia were made by this service.

The Lights of Love trees are special for their symbolic white lights in memory and honor of individuals. For each light purchased for a suggested $25, a card is sent to those honored or to family members. To donate, call (229) 312-GIVE or visit