“Light The Night:” How the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is Changing the Cancer Narrative

Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar

For some people, preparing for autumn means getting that fall decor out of the storage closets. For others, it means making sure that they have raised the most money possible for blood cancer awareness.

Oct. 15 parked this year’s Light The Night Walk in D.C., a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society event that raises awareness and funding for research to find a cure for blood cancer.

The participants carry different colored illuminated lanterns to celebrate and commemorate those who have been impacted by the cause. The white lantern is in honor of survivors, the red is in support of patients and the yellow is in remembrance of those we’ve lost.

Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar
Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar

My friend carried around a white lantern. She was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma two years ago. I’ve seen her at her worst and at her best. But I must admit, what cancer is capable of doing to a person is indescribable.

As a supporter, this event is inspiring, because it turns something so devastating into something worth celebrating. For two miles, you are walking next to excited and hopeful individuals who have been through inconceivable journeys. Each face speaks a different sentiment: happiness, gratitude, hope, sadness, exhaust, understanding, etc. You can’t help but want to know their stories and help them through their struggles.

Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar
Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar

But like many causes, this is one that not everyone thinks about unless they are directly involved in it, or personally affected. Many people think that events like this only fund research, but it also helps people who can’t afford the treatment.

The goal is to get anyone and everyone informed and ready to fight the battle, even if it isn’t their own.

Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar
Courtesy: Photography by Jennie Aguilar