Light the Night Walk benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

By: Kurt Buesching | September 2, 2011

Since 2001, the Michigan Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised nearly $5 million for Michigan patients and local research projects through Light the Night, an annual walk.

The walk is a beautiful and emotionally-charged one-mile evening walk featuring illuminated balloons that light up the night. Upcoming walks are at Bank of America headquarters on the grounds of Somerset Mall in Troy Sept. 24 at5 p.m., at the DTE Edison Centerin Ann Arbor Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.and at the corner of Biddle and Elm in WyandotteOct. 14 at 6 p.m.

“It’s a very family-friendly event,” said Stephanie Holland, campaign manager for the local walks. “It’s non-endurance, and it’s only one mile.”

Participants can walk in teams, which make up the majority of walkers, or individually, and are encouraged to raise $100 in sponsorships, which enables them to walk with a balloon, get a t-shirt and partake in the food available at the walk.

“Most of the people there have a personal connection,”Holland said, explaining that many people walk in memory of someone, plus there are survivors who walk.

The red, white and gold balloons with lights in them set the scene for a beautiful event, Holland said. “It’s unique. It can be very motivational, but it’s also very emotional.”

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, founded in 1949, is dedicated to finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. It’s the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society prides itself on providing direct aid to patients. “We’re one of the few organizations that still give financial aid to patients,”Holland explained, noting the Light the Night helps fund that aid. “We’re also funding 12 research projects in Michigan” which will take place at the University of Michigan and Wayne State, she said.

Find out more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at www.lls.org.

To register for Light the Night or for more information, visit www.lightthenight.org.