More than 2,000 people from throughout eastern Pennsylvania will turn out for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night Walk to help raise money for blood cancer research on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, according to a news release from the society.
Registration for the walk will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the walk will start at approximately 6:30 p.m.
"The Walk is an evening filled with inspiration," the release said. "During the two- mile leisurely walk, participants will carry illuminated balloons. Survivors will carry white balloons; red by supporters and gold in memory of loved ones who lost their lives to cancer. Thousands of walkers will form a community of caring, bringing light to the dark world of cancer."
Northampton County resident Carol Messinger will be walking in this year’s Light The Night Walk along with her friends and family.
Messinger was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on June 2, 2005 and has been battling the disease for the past eight years, according to the society.
“I have been given chemo and radiation for six out of the eight years,” Messinger said. “I decided from day one that this was going to be a fight that I would challenge.”
Despite Messinger’s cancer preventing her from fully indulging in many of her passions, including NASCAR racing, she remains positive. In fact, thanks to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, she was able to attend a NASCAR event at Pocono Raceway where she met her hero, Dale Earnhardt Jr., the news release said.
There is no fundraising minimum to participate in the Walk, but every walker is encouraged to become a Champion For Cures by raising $100 or more to help fight blood cancer.
Funds raised by teams and individual walkers will help fund blood cancer research and provide free educational materials and events for patients and their families; local programs, such as Family Support Groups and First Connection, a peer-to-peer counseling program; and comprehensive, personalized assistance.
“Light The Night Walk gives hope to patients and their families and lets them know that they are not alone in their battle against cancer,” said Maida R. Milone, the Executive Director of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the LLS. “It is a night to pay tribute to lives touched by cancer, honor those we have lost, and celebrate the lives that have been saved.”
Corporate sponsors for the 2013 Lehigh Valley Light The Night Walk are Air Products, Boyle Construction, Dun & Bradstreet, Good Shepherd, Just Born Inc., J&J Development, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Red Robin/Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group.
Community Partners are BSI Corporate Benefits, Devotion Spirits, Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Vinart Dealerships/Lehigh Valley Honda.
Media Sponsors include WFMZ News69, The Morning Call and Lehigh Valley Style Magazine.
Last year's Light The Night Walk raised $274,000 for the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the LLS. This year’s fundraising goal is $304,000.
To register, or for more information, call (610) 266-8513 or visit www.lightthenight.org/epa.
To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Photo: Patch file photo