New York, New York (PressExposure) September 18, 2013 -- At 13, Caroline Watters from Queens, New York is wise beyond her years--because she endured something few children do. In December 2001, when she was two years old, Caroline was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer that causes the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Her treatment included a bone marrow transplant, which she received from her older sister, Lisette, then four years old.
Determined to help raise awareness about the more than one million people in North America living with a blood cancer, Caroline, who has been in remission since her transplant, and her family will show their support for others by participating in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Light The Night® Walk, in an annual fundraising event held in communities around the country.
"I'm one of the lucky ones," says Caroline, "But about half of blood cancer patients don't survive. More research is needed to find better treatments that will help save more lives."
Light The Night features teams of families, friends and co-workers holding illuminated balloons - white for survivors, red for supporters and gold for those who have died--as they walk together during twilight. When night falls, the balloons light up the sky, creating an inspiring vision of hope and community. The event commemorates and celebrates the many lives that have been touched by blood cancers. Music, refreshments and family activities are also part of the event. In New York City, the Walks will be held in Manhattan at Hudson River Park's Pier 57 on September 25, on Staten Island at Midland Beach Promenade on September 28, and in Queens at Victory Field on October 5.
"Light The Night is the nation's opportunity to pay tribute to lives touched by blood cancer," said Michele Przypyszny, Executive Director of LLS New York City Chapter. "We are grateful to all of our participants for supporting this lifesaving program. The funds raised help LLS support leading-edge research and provide much-needed patient services."
Last year, approximately $45 million was raised through Light The Night Walks in more than 200 communities in North America--$3.5 million in New York City alone. To form a team or to learn more, please please call the New York City Chapter at (212)376-5141 or visit http://www.lightthenight.org/nyc.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit http://www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. http://www.lls.org.
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