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Duke Cancer Patient Support Program Honors Lights of Hope


DURHAM, NC -- As a breast cancer survivor and creator of the SeaSide Yoga Retreat for Breast Cancer Survivors, Jean Costa understands the kind of support cancer patients need.

Costa completed her cancer treatment at Duke in 1999, and joined the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program’s (DCPSP) Advisory Board shortly afterwards.

“It really means the world to me,” said Costa. “You don’t give your time and effort to be rewarded, but it is not unusual that when you do, you find yourself getting so much more back than you could have ever imagined.”

Costa and her husband, Sandy, will be honored as this year’s DCPSP Light of Hope Award recipients at the Tree of Hope lighting ceremony. This year’s seventeenth annual ceremony will illuminate the Nancy Emerson Weaver Tree of Hope on Thursday, Dec. 6. The ceremony begins inside the Duke Cancer Clinics lobby at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds outside into the DCPSP’s Seese-Thornton Garden of Tranquility adjacent to the Morris Cancer Clinics.

The DCPSP offers the opportunity to purchase a light in honor or memory of someone special and to see that light shine on the Nancy Weaver Emerson Tree of Hope. Each honoree receives a card acknowledging the donation along with an invitation to the ceremony. The names of honorees are added to the Book of Honor on display in the lobby of the Morris Building.

The DCPSP is celebrating its twentieth year of providing psychosocial support to cancer patients and their families through counseling, support groups, companionship, educational resources and a wig and turban program. The DCPSP offers continued support from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, recovery, survival and also through the circumstances surrounding the end of life.

All support services are available without charge. “We strive to provide seamless and accessible service to patients and their families,” said Cheyenne Corbett, DCPSP director.

The Tree of Hope originated in 1991 when the then director of major projects for the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Development Office, Nancy Weaver Emerson, suggested that the program sponsor a tree “that would symbolize the love we hold in our hearts for someone special and the hope we have that the fight against cancer will soon be won.”

To purchase lights of hope visit the DCPSP’s Web site to obtain a form and mail it in or call 919-684-8760. A gift of $10 to the DCPSP purchases one light on the tree and a gift of $25 purchases three lights on the tree.

Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer is invited to attend the Tree of Hope ceremony.

For more information about the Tree of Hope and the DCPSP or to make a donation visit:


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