Patients, survivors Light the Night to help defeat blood cancer
Lanterns illuminated the night sky Thursday to support research for a cure.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Thursday night hosted their annual Light the Night event, part of a series of fundraising campaigns to help find a cure to blood cancers.
There were celebratory festivities, from fireworks to food trucks and even a walk. Those in attendance held one of three colored lanterns—white for survivors, red for supporters and yellow to honor a life lost to cancer.
William Johnson, an attendee, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2020.
“Anytime you hear the big ‘c,’ the big ‘cancer,’ everybody gets a big scare,” Johnson said.
He says his diagnoses became a reminder to enjoy every moment of life. “They made me live,” he said. “They made me want to be alive.”
Johnson hopes that the event shines a light of awareness to others to go to the doctor and get checks, because cancer can happen to anyone.
He says if it weren’t for him getting hospitalized for COVID-19, during which he slipped into a coma, he never would have known he had cancer. He teared up Thursday night speaking about the healthcare workers who helped him along his journey.
It’s something Beth Wayne, a cancer survivor, knows all too well.
“The hard times was when I was too sick to be with my kids, hug my kids,” Wayne said.
Edward Faber, MD, is a physician at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center.
“There’s still so much that we don’t know and ways we can impact patients and patient care better,” Faber said at the event.
The lanterns offered a visual reminder to bring light as well as hope to patients, like Johnson, who are receiving treatment and fighting for their life.
“We all know we’ve got birthdays. We know we all come, but we don’t know when we’re gonna go, so you want to try and enjoy that time in between.”
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