Denise Sigmon stands in front of the tree of hope at Peopleâ€™s Bank on N.C. 16.
This year she will hang four ornaments in honor and in memory of people affected by cancer in her life.
Bob Sigmon, her brother-in-law is a kidney cancer survivor and Judy Gibson, her sister-in-law has been a breast cancer survivor for over 20 years.
The purple bulbs represent the survivors.
â€œI am putting ornaments on the tree for Judy and Bob because of their courage,â€ Sigmon said. â€œI look up to them. They had it and didnâ€™t let it stop their lives. I see them on a daily basis and it is like it never happened.â€
â€œThey are my mentors, rocks in my eyes. They are two people I hope I can be someday,â€ she added.
The other two ornaments are in memory of two other important people in her life â€“ her mother, Dorothy Adham, who was 54-years-old when she passed away and Alex DeArmas, one of her friendâ€™s nephews who passed away at a young age.
Sigmon did not know DeArmas personally but hung the bulb because of the love she has for her friend.
â€œShe is always there when I need her,â€ she said.
The ornament for her mother she hung on the tree in hopes that other people donâ€™t have to lose their mothers at that young age.
â€œShe was my life basically,â€ Sigmon said. â€œIf they had back then what they have now, sheâ€™d probably still be here.â€
The white bulbs represent those who were lost to cancer.
Thursday night the â€œTree of Hope,â€ was lit as friends, family and cancer survivors gathered for companionship.
All the money received will go towards the American Cancer Society, in hopes of finding a cure for cancer.
The event, a kick-off for the 2005 Relay for Life has been going on for three years.
â€œChristmas time is a time to be thankful, but hearing the three words, youâ€™ve got cancer, well thatâ€™s tough,â€ said Patsy Black, who heads up the east Lincoln Relay for Life. â€œSo think of people and pray for them.â€
Ornaments are being sold for $10 each and will be inscribed with the loved oneâ€™s name.
Rauch Industries of Gastonia is responsible for donating the bulbs.
Ornaments can be hung on the Tree of Hope up until Christmas. Those who wish to pick up their ornaments can do so the week of Christmas.
Black said the tree usually raises roughly $1000 each year.
Want to purchase an ornament?
Checks may be made payable to the American Cancer Society.
Mail to: Peoples Bank, Attn: Patsy Black, P.O. Box 594, Denver, NC 28037
by Amy Wadsworth