The Path Looks Bright

When you're diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, the road ahead might look like a horrifying path. You're faced with a multitude of stressful decisions with heavy consequences: "How do I tell my family?" "What course of medical action will I take?" "How will I pay my bills?"

Mother living with cancer

Those kinds of stressors should be the last things on your mind as you're trying to get well, but luckily, there are places that can help people like you.

No matter what you do, you must take that first step toward wellness — but you might feel like you're taking a step into the dark. And if it's your loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease, you're likely feeling the exact same way.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is out to light the path for cancer patients everywhere this fall. The Light the Night walk, sponsored by Burlington Coat Factory, is a multicity nationwide walk at night to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research. But that's not all. Funds raised from the walk provide financial assistance to patients, educational materials, programs, advocacy for better treatments and personalized assistance to patients as they learn about their disease.

You might not be a patient, but odds are you've known someone affected by leukemia or lymphoma. It is estimated that over 79,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lymphoma and nearly 48,000 with leukemia in 2013, according to the National Cancer Institute. While The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society continues to make strides in discovering new treatments, both diseases are far from cured. Now is your chance to make a change in how the disease is treated and managed.

Make a difference in the cancer community! Start by gathering funds and sign-ups from everyone you know — friends, family and co-workers. Use the walk as a group-building exercise, an excuse to get together with old friends or a bonding activity for families with members who have been victims of cancer, including children.

Register for your local walk today at www.lightthenight.org/register and search for your local walk at www.pages.lightthenight.org/search. Registration is now through the end of August, so it's time to kick your fundraising into overdrive. Light the Night participants each gather $220, on average.

And if you're not a sprinter, don't worry. The leisurely two- to three-mile walk caters to all levels of athleticism, so grab your illuminated balloon and prepare to stand up to leukemia and lymphoma this fall. It's a celebration of survivorship that can't be missed.

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