Why it is Time for Everyone to Light the Night

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Put on your walking shoes, grab your family, and get ready to light up the night. This fall, Light The Night walks will be taking place throughout the country, and it is a fabulous way to get your whole family involved in the beauty of giving back to a cause that matters.

Did you know that leukemia is the single most common cancer in children and teens? In fact, it accounts for almost 1 out of 3 childhood cancers.

A good friend of ours is a hematologist oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the best hospitals in the country for treating children with blood cancers. Intelligent, fun, and kind, she and her husband are two of my very favorite people on the planet. Last time we were together, I asked her how she keeps such a positive spirit while doing a job that can undoubtedly be depressing. She replied, “Sure, the losses are awful. They are horrible, but they are few. With a timely diagnosis and the right care, most of these children can survive.” Then she said with a huge smile, “We can cure them.”

And now you can help them too. The Light The Night walk is a fundraising campaign of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), which brings together families and communities to honor blood cancer survivors, as well as those lost to the diseases. Their goal is to shine a light on both the importance of finding a cure for blood cancers and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

One why this event is such a fantastic way to get kids involved in giving back is that this isn’t a hardcore 5k, 10k, triathlon or marathon. Anyone of any age can do this walk, and strollers are welcome too. Unlike many other fundraisers, at this one a leisurely pace is the norm, making it perfect for families to participate. While routes vary according to location, the walk should take under an hour to complete.

Though I have fortunately never had a child with leukemia or lymphoma, that friend I mentioned earlier is precisely the type of doctor I would want if I were in that situation. Unfortunately, I have a friend who lost her young son to leukemia at the age of two. She has since turned her unbearable grief into something amazing, starting a non-profit organization to help local families with a child suffering from cancer. My kids and I want to help in our own way too, so we are registered to walk in our local Light The Night event in our area this fall.

Let's all Light The NIght for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Let’s all be part of the club that is helping create a world without blood cancers. These inspirational, memorable evening walks will take place in almost 200 communities across North America. Each one features illuminated lanterns that represent people affected by blood cancer – white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of lost loved ones.

You can register now to become part of a Light The Night walk near you. You can also click here to find a local team or create your own team. Need to find the most convenient local walk site for time and date information for you? No problem! There’s a list right on the website.

Around these parts we also love to support brands and companies who pay it forward. After being a sponsor of the 2013 walks, Sylvan Learning is expanding its relationship with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this year. In 2014, they are planning to raise more than $250,000 to support the LLS through fundraising at its 800 franchise locations as well as through participation in Light the Night Walks across the country. Sylvan is also helping in the way it knows best, by lending support to young patients and providing them with scholarship funding. Local franchisees are also providing educational support to young patients in their communities as they transition back to school during or after treatment for leukemia or lymphoma.

So, as you are planning your calendar for the fall, include your local Light The Night walk. Put on those walking shoes, grab your family, and let’s make it an evening to remember for years to come as we light up the night and walk to the end of cancer.

The Night The Light Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Disclosure: I am a compensated ambassador for the Light the Night campaign. All opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. This is wonderful. We dream about life without cancer!

  2. What a beautiful event! I love when organizations do things in a way that get the next generation excited about picking up the torch against cancer

  3. What a great post! I love how your friend keeps such a positive attitude – We CAN cure them!

  4. Cancer is one of the worst as it’s very indiscriminate. Many forms of cancer have effected my family from the young to the old. I hate cancer! This is a great initiative and something I would love for my family and I to be involved in!

  5. This is such a great cause. I love it when people band together to create change.

  6. This sounds like a great event for a really great cause. Thanks for raising awareness of it.

  7. we always Light the Night. have for a long time. friends have had kids who lost their fight.

  8. That’s a lot of people and a very sound goal for a donation. I love that they’re doing this too!! It’s awesome.

  9. This is such a beautiful event, and such an important cause.

  10. What a wonderful campaign! My grandmother ended up dying from a form of leukemia much more common in childhood. Definitely willing to support finding a cure!

  11. What a great cause. Thank you so much for educating us and for letting us know about this.

  12. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I am going to put this on my calendar for awareness. Cancer is such an evil disease.

  13. What a wonderful cause. I need to see if we have one in this area too. Thanks for sharing this Jessica!

  14. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of this walk! Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll have to check out the closest walk near Boston!

  15. I’ve not heard about this walk either! Hoping there is one local for me!

  16. Fantastic event. I have not heard of this. Awesome cause.

  17. This is for such a great cause. Cancer is such a devastating disease not only for the child but for everyone involved.

  18. We’ve lost a family member to leukemia, and it’s a cause close to my heart. Thanks so much for sharing and helping to raise awareness!

  19. This is a great campaign. Hopefully they will find a cure!

  20. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    What a great cause. I will have to see when the next one in my area is. What a fabulous way to spend a evening and raise awareness for a great cause.

  21. What a great cause! I haven’t participated in a Light the Night event, but it sounds like a great way to raise awareness.

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