The Light The Night Walk took place at Cleveland University in Kansas City on Saturday, September 30th, 2017, and Whiting House was there.
This walk, one of many across the country during Blood Cancer Awareness month, is the symbolic culmination of a year of fundraising on behalf of blood cancer patients, survivors, and families affected by the terrible disease. Lighted lanterns represent breaching the darkness to shed hope on the future, while the sheer magnitude of solidarity demonstrates our collective dedication to ending suffering.
There was a pre-walk carnival with food, games, fireworks, and mingling with good people.
What does the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) do?
Specifically, LLS states that its mission is to:
“Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
LLS is a national nonprofit voluntary health organization that advocates on behalf of anyone affected by blood cancers, invests in promising cancer research, and provides information, resources, and support to patients and families.
Through LLS, those affects by blood cancers can talk with information specialists, find support groups and patient communities, engage in peer-to-peer support, and more. LLS has invested over one billion dollars in blood cancer research, and an estimated 40 million dollars in grants will go to the most innovative and promising research centers in 2017 alone. LLS also targets government decision-makers to advocate for policy that favors speeding up progress toward a cure.
Why is this work important?
Every 3 minutes, a diagnosis of one of three main types of blood cancer happens. Every 9 minutes, someone dies from blood cancer.
LLS figures indicate that investment, advocacy, and support have significantly improved survival rates and quality of life since the 1960s. The math is there—we just need to do more.
Why do we participate?
We make philanthropy and awareness a core principle that drives our business engagement with the surrounding community. We seek opportunities to help where the numbers show we can because we operate under the valid assumption that a healthier society benefits all.
Our own April Bowers has helped Whiting House participate in LLS fundraisers, and we’ve donated $2500 to become an official sponsor, the responsibilities for which we look forward to fulfilling with passion. Already completed a poker tournament and pancake breakfast to kickoff fundraising season.
April and the whole Whiting House team were personally inspired to participate in helping the LLS achieve its goals not only by an innate feeling of responsibility but by witnessing and learning the stories of those directly affected by blood cancers.
In the face of seemingly impossible odds, a 12-year old boy named JC has fought for ten years against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Five times it returned and five times he has beaten it back, insisting with each parry that he has a purpose to go on—that he is not done here. This boy’s bravery is unfathomable, yet it is real. If there is a lack of treatment options, it can be boiled down to a simple lack of funds. Awareness will only get us so far—we need to actively petition our families, friends, strangers, and ourselves to donate the hard cash necessary to tip the scales in favor of hope. And we cannot falter in the face of refusal—we’ll ask the next person, and the next, and the next.
Money, awareness, and action are the way forward. Asking for donations is the way forward. Our team is one of many who participated in the fundraising drive leading up to the Light The Night Walk, and we adhered to the encouragement from the LLS that it is right and just to petition for donations.
Why are we writing about this?
The Light The Night Walk has passed for 2017 but will return each year, so we want to spread the word. We also wish to enthuse your curiosity. If nothing else, you will take a moment to read about Blood Cancers facts and statistics and educate anyone else you meet along the way.
How you can participate
We invite you to join our Whiting House team in a future Light The Night Walk. All you have to do is register as an individual, or register with our Whiting House team by clicking the link below. If you have the financial ability, donate to LLS and become the difference in thousands of lives.