beam-xmas-treeAt first glance, the Elkhart General Hospital Breast Care Center waiting room looks like just that. A waiting room.

When you look a little closer, you realize the Christmas tree in the corner is still standing weeks after the holiday season ended.

And a poster on the wall is more than generic hospital art.

The tree started as traditional holiday décor in 2008. The staff, however, decided to call it a “survivor tree” and leave it up year-round.

A giant pink butterfly adorns the top instead of a star.

Breast cancer survivors bring ornaments — again, the majority are pink — to add to its limbs.

And sometimes, patients and visitors add ornaments in memory of loved ones.

“It’s very popular among all our patients,” said Roma Green, Breast Care Center supervisor.

On an adjacent wall, a new framed poster has been catching the attention of those awaiting appointments. picture-stamp

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp poster dates back to July 1998, when the U.S. Postal Service introduced the semi-postal stamp. Also known as a charity stamp, it raises money for a charity or cause.

MarJo Robbins, a volunteer Pink Lady at the Breast Center, said her sister, Penny Junco, wanted to donate it to the Elkhart General Breast Care Center.

Junco recently retired, and since she didn’t need the poster to decorate her own business office in Texas any longer, she wanted it to hang in a place where it would be truly appreciated.

And Robbins knew just the location.

The image serves as a reminder of the millions of dollars that have been raised for breast cancer research through the sale of this Breast Cancer Research Stamp, said Bill Molen, MBA, RT(R)(MR), Executive Director of Radiology at Elkhart General.