Red Deer readying to Light the Night in support of leukemia, lymphoma research

Carrying multi-coloured lanterns, in support of blood cancer research, the scene at the Light the Night fundraiser is inspirational.

For the second time, Red Deer will host a community walk and Melanie Senevirtane, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada Prairies Region Fund Development Manager, hopes the walk will exceed last year’s first walk.

“It’s family, it’s friends and it’s coworkers and it’s inspirational,” said Senevirtane, talking about the closeness and community that exists at the event.

“People are supportive of each other, especially in Red Deer. We had people come out who didn’t have a blood cancer, but a different type of cancer. We had a four-year-old boy who survived liver cancer join us.”

The walk, twice around Bower Ponds, will feature participants carrying lanterns, each with a different colour. Red for supporters, white for patients or survivors and gold in memory of a loved one.

“It’s lit up and it really gives off a great effect, walking at night with the lanterns,” said Senevirtane.

Last year, the walk drew about 75 people and raised $13,000. This year, Senevirtane set her sights a little higher, hoping to draw about 100 people and raise $15,000.

The funds raised go towards leukemia and lymphoma research. The society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

The walk will be held on Sept. 16 at the Bower Ponds. Registration opens at 6 p.m. and the walk starts at 7:30 p.m. Anyone can participate, but the society asks people register ahead of time. To register visit www.lightthenight.ca.

To get a T-shirt and a lantern for the walk, people need to fundraise $100.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

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