Every 3 minutes, a person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. That means that in 2020, over 175,000 Americans will be diagnosed with these sometimes deadly diseases that include leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The premier organization working to combat blood cancer is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. LLS raises over $200 million annually to help fund treatments to battle blood cancers that could, and do, save many lives. One of the LLS’ most interactive, fun, and community-driven initiatives is their annual Light the Night Walk. At over 140 locations nationwide, people walk to honor the memory of loved ones, to gain strength for their own personal cancer battle, and to show their continued support for others. Normally, the walk is every fall, outside, and features games, food, performances, and inspirational updates from experts in the field of blood cancers. This year, while the annual Light the Night event may be virtual, the fight is still very real.
My connection to LLS is a very personal one. In 2008, my father was first diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia. After a successful treatment, he remained in remission until 2012. Thankfully, he was fully treated again and now continues to be under the expert care of his oncology team. In 2017, I captained my first Light the Night team in honor of my father. I called my team “Team Walk Off ” because my father and I both share a love of baseball. In baseball, a walk off is a play or hit that wins the game for the offensive team in the last inning. Combining the two meanings of walk off shows that we are walking in unity to win the battle against blood cancer. Since our first walk in 2017, our team has successfully raised over $25,000.
Team Walk Off would be honored if you were to join our roster this year! The virtual walk for the Long Branch Light the Night will be October 17 at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please visit my fundraising page (https://pages.lls.org/ltn/cran/LongBran20/TeamWalkOff) or the LLS website. Monetary donations or attending the virtual walk would be greatly appre-ciated. If you have a friend or family member that is a member of another team, donating and walking with them would be a tremendous support for LLS. Further, if you or someone you love is currently battling a blood cancer, don’t hesitate to reach out to LLS directly. The funds raised by LLS go directly to research for treatments of blood cancers and helping families fighting these cancers. LLS has funded over 80% of new blood cancer treatments. In these troubling times, together we can bring light to the darkness of cancer. Remember, just because this year’s walk is virtual, the fight for thousands is still real. Thank you in advance for your support! With your help, I’m confident this year we will “knock it out of the park.”