This is a special blog post for me. Wednesday night me and my Mum participated in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk. This event helps raise funds for life saving research and support for people battling cancer. I heard about this event just a week before it took place and signed up immediately to start my fundraising. I have to say, I have the most amazing friends and family! In the short time we had, $515 were raised! I want to take a moment to thank everyone for their donations, we really will make a difference. I am so grateful to know such kind people. Thank you.
My grandmother Joan was diagnosed on Memorial Day weekend in 1989 with acute myelogenous leukemia when she was 50 years old. Just to fill you in on what this type of cancer is, here is a description from the marrow.org website. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In AML, the bone marrow makes many unformed cells called blasts. Blasts normally develop into white blood cells that fight infection. However, the blasts are abnormal in AML. They do not develop and cannot fight infections. The bone marrow may also make abnormal red blood cells and platelets. The number of abnormal cells (or leukemia cells) grows quickly. They crowd out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs. My grandmother passed away on October 24, 1989. (I was only 2 years old.) Last night, my Mum and I walked in memory of her.
The walk began at Heinz Field, they had snacks and speakers a few hours before the walk was to begin. Walkers also received illuminated balloons - white was for survivors, red was for supporters and gold was in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. Survivors wore blue shirts, and just seeing those individuals thoughout the evening you cant help but feel so much compassion for those that are so strong. There were also numerous groups who worked to fundraise and walk together, like the West Allegheny Varsity Cheerleading squad I photographed below.
This is such an incredible event and I look foward to participating next year with a whole team of walkers in memory of my grandmother. I can only imagine how much we can raise next year with more time! This really has inspired me to do more around the community, I hope this blog post can help inspire others as well! "Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something." Gil Scott-Heron