EVANS, G.A. (WJBF) – Several communities throughout the CSRA pitched in to support those battling cancer through the Lights for Lydia project. It’s a neighborhood initiative where neighbors purchase luminary kits to place throughout the neighborhood. Each kit contains ten bags, ten tea lights, and sand. One local neighborhood is breaking its record from last year.
If you’re driving through Silver Lake Drive tonight you may notice that the neighborhood shines a little bit brighter than usual and it’s all thanks to the Lights for Lydia project.
“It’s a family more than a community, honestly,” said Kim Bailey.
More than 2-thousands bags sat along the narrow road in Silver Lake Drive. Each of them represents a bigger meaning than the tiny flicker inside.
“People young and old who are fighting cancer,” said Gloria Saylors.
Gloria Saylors spearheaded the Lights for Lydia initiative in Silver Lake Drive. It’s meant to raise funds for the Lydia Project
“So many people who are battling the cancer right now, need a place to stay, they need help with their treatment, they need childcare while they’re taking their treatment,” said Saylors.
And that’s what the Lydia Project provides. Each neighbor purchased a luminary kit and for most of them, this initiative hits close to home.
“Donations are sometimes hard to come by, but this is an activity that the community gets together and participates in and through the purchase of these products we are then able to share the expenses with others who have cancer,” said Earl Lorenzen.
Lorenzen and his wife have a granddaughter who’s currently recovering from the disease. NewsChannel 6 spoke with them while they set up bags throughout the neighborhood.
“It’s scary, you never know what’s the next step even though you feel that God and the good doctors will make them well, we still question it,” he said.
Lorenzen says he and his family moved here from South Georgia after finding out that his granddaughter had cancer.
Lorenzen says, “We sold our horses because we didn’t have time to take care of our granddaughter and our animals, so we just sold our animals. “It’s always tender to me when I talk about her having cancer, ” he added.
Hadei Poustcehi says his wife is a cancer survivor.
“She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and following that she had to have a total mastectomy on both sides and fortunately, since then she has not had any comeback or any other symptoms,” he said.
Poustcehi says when his wife was first diagnosed, that’s when he realized his neighbors, were more like family.
“Believe it or not the second day that my wife came from the hospital after surgery, we received about three or four boxes of food and we practically didn’t know anybody in the neighborhood,” he said.
And even the organizer of this event, Saylors had her own battle with cancer.
“I’m a breast cancer survivor and my first exposure for the Lydia Project was when I went to my surgeon and they had given me a bag with the words Hope embroidered on it,” said Saylors.
She says in that bag there were different resources available to those who were fighting cancer. That’s what inspired her to raise awareness in her own community.
“It feels great, but it doesn’t surprise me because this is the community we live in,” said Bailey.