BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – On Thursday, people gathered to participate in the annual LLS ‘Light the Night’ walk in Birmingham to celebrate and remember those affected by blood cancers.
From family to friends to coworkers, each person on the path had a story.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), around every 3 minutes in the United States, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma and every nine minutes, someone dies from blood cancer.
“I was diagnosed in December 2020, and I rung my bell June 1, 2021,” said survivor Laura Hughes.
Three colors lit up Railroad Park to honor those battling blood cancers. Gold signified remembrance and red was for supporters.
“I’m here to support my friend Laura Ann,” said Lauren Burkett. “She is out here walking, and she has her own team and I’m really just here to back her up. I have her back on the court; we do play club volleyball together and I really do love her and from the bottom of my heart. I really want to support her.”
White was for survivors.
“I had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and my last chemo treatment would’ve been in 2010, February 2010,” says Chandler Rose, survivor and Montevallo baseball head coach.
For some people like Rose, being a part of the ‘Light the Night’ walk is an annual tradition. For the last 11 years, he’s had his baseball team join him.
“This organization helped save my life and so any way we can give back,” says Rose. “It’s great for our guys to get some perspective on helping others.”
‘Light the Night’ this year helped raise over $280,000 for blood cancer research.