News & Announcements

Phoebe Foundation Announces 2020 Lights of Love Tree Lighter


Albany, Ga. – The Phoebe Foundation is excited to announce Monique Wilson, a cancer survivor from Albany, has been named the honorary tree lighter for the 2020 Lights of Love ceremony. Often considered as the official kick-off of the holiday season, this year’s ceremony is taking place virtually on Thursday, December 3, at 7 p.m.

Monique was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016. While that diagnoses might bring feelings of fear or anger to some people, she had a different reaction that continues to fuel her passion for breast cancer awareness today. “When people see me, they see laughter,” said Monique. “They see joy. And I’m going to say people see that even more now because I feel I was given a new lease on life when I was diagnosed July 26, 2016 with breast cancer.”

As Phoebe Cancer Center’s Survivorship Data Coordinator, and as the lead coordinator of the Georgia Chapter of the national Young Survival Coalition (YSC), Monique puts that new lease on life to work every day- helping others who have been impacted by cancer. Together with her husband, and steadying rock of support, Fred Wilson - also a Phoebe Family member - they have supported hundreds of cancer patients through various fundraising efforts, including the multi-day, Tour de Pink.

“We get on these itty bitty bicycles, which we call road bikes, and we do that every year. We take three days in October, a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we ride our bicycles 200 miles,” added Monique.

While Monique kept her diagnosis from most of her family and friends in the beginning, she says she relied heavily on her faith for guidance. She endured 33 radiation treatments and a lumpectomy, and is still taking hormonal therapy, something she’ll be doing for a few more years.

“I thank God for the power of prayer. Because, deep down, I really believe that what I went through I was going through to help somebody else in their process. My journey has not been easy,” she said. “But I’m striving every day.”

The other honorary tree lighters are Robert Thomas, of Sumter County, at Phoebe Sumter and Shala Juster, of Worth County, at Phoebe Worth. Their stories of hope, along with Monique’s, can be found by visiting www.lights-of-love.org.

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. 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 donation, a card is sent to those honored or to family members. To donate, call (229) 312-GIVE or visit www.lights-of-love.org.

The public is invited to watch the Lights of Love ceremony on December 3 at 7 p.m. on the Phoebe Foundation’s Facebook page (@phoebefoundation). For more information, contact Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483.