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Lights of Love at Phoebe Worth Campus

This holiday season hope will shine brightly this holiday season at Phoebe Worth Medical Center, as we pay tribute to local cancer patients and their families with our own special Lights of Love tree. Lights will be lit in the thousands in honor and memory of loved ones, and donations to the beloved holiday event will benefit oncology patients receiving treatments at Phoebe Worth Medical Center.

Phoebe Worth Tree Lighting Ceremony Date

• Hospital Entrance: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @ 7 p.m.

Donate now to ensure patients are
able to stay local for treatment and care.

A symbolic light of love can be purchased for a suggested $25 each. Donations can be sent to Lights of Love, PO Box 3770, Albany, GA 31706. For questions and more information, please contact Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483. Lights of Love is more than a holiday event, it is a year-round project, and your gifts are welcome at any time.

2022 Tree Lighter, Phoebe Worth Medical Center, Lindsay Culpepper

Phoebe Worth Medical Center, Tree Lighting Ceremony: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @ 7 p.m.

Lindsay Culpepper is a baker. She makes delicious and elaborate cakes for folks in and around her hometown of Sylvester, but she hasn’t always been so comfortable around a mixing bowl. “I’d always wanted to be that mom who baked their kids’ birthday cakes and homemade treats for school events, but really, I was the one who showed up with a box of twinkies,” Lindsay said.

She only discovered her talent and love for baking during the most difficult time of her life. “I had never baked anything until two years ago, and I was able to use that to get back on my feet,” she said.

What knocked Lindsay off her feet was a terrifying diagnosis of cervical cancer that led her to seek the care of a gynecological oncologist in Tallahassee. “Even now, every time I go to the doctor, I expect some terrible news because every time I would go there, they would tell me it was over, but it wasn’t,” she said.

That cancer specialist initially thought Lindsay may only need surgery to remove the cancerous part of her cervix, but then she required a radical trachelectomy to remove her entire cervix and surrounding tissue. After that, cancer was found in her lymph nodes, so she needed chemotherapy and radiation. That’s when she came to the Phoebe Cancer Center. “When I met Dr. (Adam) Jones and Dr. (Chirag) Jani, things started going a good bit smoother,” she said.

Lindsay needed 25 radiation treatments, weekly chemotherapy for five weeks and three rounds of brachytherapy – an advanced, internal radiation therapy designed to target a very specific area. The treatments took a physical toll. “There were days when I would have to pull over on the side of the road on the way home and throw up,” she said.

Coming at a time when Lindsay’s older daughter, Ansley, was settling into college at Georgia Southern University, it was also a difficult time emotionally. “I had to try to stay really strong, so she wouldn’t think she would have to come home. I did a really good job of acting like everything was fine.”

She also had to lean on her younger daughter, Alayna, more than she would have liked. “My 13-year-old had to flush my PICC line every day. She would saran-wrap me so I could take a shower. We can laugh about it now, but it was awful at the time,” Lindsay said.

Sometimes she simply couldn’t hold her emotions in. “With Dr. Jones, I don’t know how many times I went in there crying, and he would always be so calm and patient and sit and talk with me for as long as I needed. He’s very caring and compassionate,” Lindsay said.

She has the same appreciation for the rest of the Phoebe Cancer Center team who cared for her. “I had the best nurses and radiation therapists. Their team is the best. I got really, really lucky with the doctors and nurses who took care of me.”

During her treatments, Lindsay was unable to work full-time, and she lost her job, only adding to the stress and hardship. Her care team at Phoebe stepped in to help then, too. “My radiation therapists made casseroles for us for Thanksgiving and even sponsored my kids for Christmas, and my chemo nurses got together and gave me big gift card.” Her family also received financial support from Cancer Ties, an Albany-based charity that helps local cancer patients with medical costs and household expenses. “There were just blessings everywhere,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay is doing great today. She’s cancer-free. She’s proud of her daughters. She’s grateful for the team at Phoebe who cared for her, the friends and family who supported her and the faith that sustained her. “I don’t know how anybody could get through this without a faith in God,” she said.

And she’s happy that, in the midst of so many challenges, she found her new passion. “My Aunt Connie taught me to make a 12-layer chocolate cake for my brother’s birthday, and it was so easy. I just started selling a few cakes here and there on the side, and it really took off,” she said.

Eventually, Lindsay hopes to operate her own food truck and maybe open a small bakery one day. For now, she’s content to work out of her kitchen, baking beautiful creations that put smiles on faces – including hers. “Cakes make people happy. That’s fun. It’s definitely a blessing.” A blessing which, like her health, she will never take for granted.