Since the inception of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center-Washington Township in 2001, radiation oncologists have provided more than 200,000 radiation treatments, according to Aaron Chang, president of Jefferson Health-East.
That statistic garnered applause for those in attendance at 14th annual Tree of Lights Remembrance Celebration Program at Kimmel on Nov. 29.
“My family has been touched by cancer, so I understand the significance of the work that’s done here,” Chang said.
Kimmel offers a full range of comprehensive services for cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, support and follow-up close to home, according to its website.
“What’s amazing is we will be able to provide the same level of cancer care close to home at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center locations in Cherry Hill this spring,” Chang noted.
The Tree of Lights event started 14 years ago as an offshoot of Kimmel’s Center for Hope and Healing, which offers supportive programs for cancer patients and their families that include art classes, nutrition classes and yoga. It’s a way to symbolically honor those battling cancer or to remember those who lost their lives to it.
The event is open to the entire community and donations support a fund for transportating patients in need of rides to or from the center.
During the program, Tamara LaCouture, chief of cancer services for Jefferson Health-East, welcomed Chang and those who attended the program. Deacon Larry Farmer of St. Charles Borromeo in Sicklerville led a blessing and Michael Jones sang a moving song.
Eduardo Fernandez, director of medical oncology at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, and staff read the names of those being honored or remembered. For every name read, staff and loved ones placed an ornament on the Christmas tree. And after a moment of silence, it was lit.