Phoebe Foundation Announces 2017 Lights of Love Tree Lighter November 28th

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Monday, November 6th, 2017

There is no better way to welcome the holiday season than with the annual Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony, a beloved fundraiser for cancer patients and families in Southwest Georgia. Steve Dilts, of Albany and cancer survivor, has been named the honorary tree lighter for the November 28 ceremony held outside the Phoebe Cancer Center in Albany.
When Steve learned he had advanced diffuse large cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his wife Laurie says his first thought wasn’t himself but his concern was for her and their children. “He’s so selfless,” says Laurie, his wife of 47 years.
Steve’s case was made even more difficult by the fact that he had suffered a heart attack the year before his cancer diagnosis. “They were concerned about how some of the medicine would affect my heart, so they convened the tumor board, and they came up with a special regimen for me,” Steve said.
Steve underwent six months of chemotherapy and since has been cancer free. He has nothing but praise for the team at the Phoebe Cancer Center. “They were friendly, cheerful, outgoing, loving,” Steve said, “and my treatment was lifesaving.”  Laurie added, “It’s like when they’re talking to you, there was nobody else around.  You were their focus.”
The Dilts were supporters of the Phoebe Lights of Love program long before Steve got cancer, as it has become a holiday tradition in their family. “The Phoebe Foundation does good work with Lights of Love, and it needs to be supported.  Albany and southwest Georgia are greatly benefited.”
The other honorary tree lighters are Kerry Helms, of Sylvester, at Phoebe Worth and Beth NeSmith, of Americus, at Phoebe Sumter. They will join family, friends, and the public during special ceremonies on each respective campus.  Their stories of hope, along with Steve’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 benefit multiple projects:

· a multi-year effort to restore the Light House facility that can host patients who must travel long distances to receive lengthy, multi-day treatments;

· infusion chairs and flat screen televisions at Phoebe Worth; and

· support for the Cancer Crisis Fund to provide emergency financial assistance for Sumter County residents.
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
The public is welcome to the Lights of Love ceremony at the Phoebe Cancer Center in Albany on November 28 at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483.