More and more people are getting their lives affected by cancer in one way or another each year; but for Oakvillian Colleen O’Hara, it seems cancer is a ‘normal’ part of life.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, took her mother 14 years ago. The blood-related cancer which affects a person’s ability to fight disease and infection also took her cousin recently. That’s not all, her husband’s aunt also has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but she is currently in remission after undergoing treatment.
Still, that is not the end of Colleen’s brushes with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Because she has 2 blood relatives with the disease, her siblings and herself have a higher chance of developing the same disease.
The Canadian Cancer Society says that some studies show that people with a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with the devastating disease have a higher risk of having the same. First degree relatives are your brother, sister, parents, and offspring.
Knowing all these, Colleen understood that the best way to fight the disease is to mobilise her community and family to help spread awareness. They’ll be doing just that this Saturday, September 10 by joining the 3rd annual Light the Night Walk in Oakville.
Oakville’s 3rd Annual Light the Night Walk
Join our community this weekend at Coronation Park, 1426 Lakeshore Rd. W, 7:30 p.m. for the official lighting ceremony of the Light the Night Walk Oakville. This upcoming event is one of the 200 similar ones scheduled across North America each fall and is one of the 11 official Light the Night Walks in Canada.
Expect teams of supporter, friends, and families join together to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. The organisers say that the funds will help cancer survivors and people who are battling blood cancers together with their families.
During the event, pledged walkers will carry illuminated lanterns that will showcase their relation to the cause as well as shed light to cancer’s devastating effects. Red lanterns are for supporters, white lanterns are for cancer survivors and people currently battling blood cancers, and gold lanterns are for those walking in memory of a loved one lost to cancer.
Colleen will be carrying a gold lantern in loving memory of her cousin and her mother, who passed away in her 50s due to a complication as a result of her fighting the cancer for years.
Colleen shared how cancer ravaged her mother’s body, seemingly responding to treatment and coming back harder each time.
For this weekend’s event, Colleen hopes to help raise funds that will support the research of new therapies for people with blood cancers as well as raise funds for educational materials and support services that help the patients and their families.
It is to be noted that this year’s Light the Night Walk in Oakville coincides with the opening for the National Blood Cancer Awareness Month. That event begins at 5:30 p.m. and attendees will be treated so some live music and hot chocolate.
To date, Light the Night Oakville has raised more than $90,000 since 2014. This year’s event target is to raise about $40,000 to $50,000 for the projects of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
Interested in attending the event? Check out https://www.facebook.com/oakvilleLTN orwww.lightthenight.ca for further details.
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