My first encounter with blood cancer came at the age of six when my next door neighbor and the love of my life died of leukemia at just seven years old. The next three encounters came in rapid succession in my twenties, as three of my friends each developed cancer.
My friend Luann died of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in her late twenties Thankfully, my friends Joe and Jayne both survived Hodgkin lymphoma. I rubbed shoulders with blood cancer again in my thirties when we lost a good friend to megakaryocytic leukemia.
In every decade of my life I have stood beside someone fighting blood cancer. I am now in my sixties and this season, I stand with Becky who was diagnosed with DLBCL five weeks - after giving birth to her first child. She is in complete remission and I can only pray that her remission is durable.
Blood cancer is personal. It touches all of us. I fight it in the career I have chosen. I fight it in the causes I support. I fight in memory and in honor of Jimmy, Luann, Joe, Jayne, Joseph, Jeremy, Teri, and Becky.
Light the Night focuses the attention of the world on hematologic cancer - the activities leading up to the event, the bright colors and committed walkers on the day of the walk, and the outflowing of services to patients resulting from the event. A diagnosis of cancer is a dark moment in anyone's life. But the efforts of LLS are a beacon of hope in that dark moment. If you need a dose of inspiration in your life come to a Light the Night Event. You will meet some of the strongest, most courageous, giving people in the world.