Whether walking to raise money for cancer research or to remember a loved one who died from the disease, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night event started and finished at the Coastline Convention Center in downtown Wilmington.
The goal of the event is to help find a cure for blood cancers, by funding research.
Light the Night walker Nancy Campbell said, “My best friend that worked for hospice died in May, at 43 years old, so it is personal. My mom died in a care center in Pittsburgh last year.”
Close to 400 people walked the two mile route, and there are nearly as many stories of those whose lives have been changed by cancer. Richard Turel is a survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia. He had his final chemo treatment last Friday; less than a week later, he’s in remission and walking to stop the disease.
“I could cry. I could cry right now,” said Richard Turel.
“Yeah, he cries easy, but it’s touching,” added Anita Turel. “And until you’ve been touched by it you don’t know what it’s like, but we’ll always be involved in this in the future.”
Walkers carry balloons; white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost. Each year, these events take place across the country. Some walk in teams and others in families; each person, hoping to fight cancer one step at a time.
Light the Night raised $40,000 for cancer research. Together with planned walks in Raleigh and Durham next month, organizers hope to raise more than $400,000.