East Texas Medical Center Tyler will celebrate its 19th annual Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday, November 28, on the hospital's front lawn. At 5:00 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive on his sleigh with two real reindeer. The Tyler Junior College Quartet will sing Christmas carols. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, honors kidney transplant recipients and the medical professionals who work to make the program a success.
"Each light on our tree serves as a symbol of hope for those awaiting kidney transplantation," said Billie Oden, RN, ETMC transplant coordinator.
"The first transplant took place at ETMC Tyler in October 1987. Since then, 429 East Texans have received kidneys. This year ETMC transplanted 40 patients. The national waiting list for Americans needing a kidney has topped 68,000."
This year, ETMC's two transplant patients that received a kidney from a living donor will light the tree. Scott Brown of Whitehouse received a kidney from his wife Jackie and Bobby Bass of Kilgore received a kidney from his sister Susan Ford.
Santa and the reindeer will greet children from 5-7 p.m. If you would like to have a picture with Santa, please bring your own camera. Refreshments will also be served.