LOVES PARK, Ill. — The 2013 Rockford Light the Night Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 28, next to Peak Sports Club, 4401 Peak Drive, Loves Park, Ill.
The annual non-competitive, 2-mile fund-raising walk is organized by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise funds for blood cancer research and patient support programs.
Around the state, thousands of people will participate in a Light the Night Walk in their community in September and October. The Rockford Light the Night Walk begins at 5 p.m., Sept. 28, with kids’ activities, a DJ and food.
After a short inspirational stage program at 6:45 p.m., the walk will begin at sundown. As participants walk the route, they carry illuminated balloons that dot the night sky — white for survivors, red for supporters and gold to remember those who have been lost to blood cancer.
In the months before the walk, friends, families and co-workers have formed teams and raised funds for LLS. Last year in Illinois, walkers raised more than $1.9 million for LLS.
This year’s Rockford Light the Night Walk is special because it takes place on the last weekend of September, which is recognized as Blood Cancer Awareness Month. There are no means of prevention or early detection for most forms of blood cancer, so LLS raises awareness to raise urgency about the need to continue to invest in research that funds cures.
Thanks to funds raised at events like Light the Night, LLS has given nearly $1 billion to innovative research projects since 1949, with survival rates for many forms of blood cancer doubling, tripling or even quadrupling in that time.
Both families and companies from the Rockford area will participate in the walk at Peak Sports Club.
“Without the commitment of each and every walker that comes out and carries a balloon to symbolize our mission, and the dollars raised, we would not be able to invest in the research that is changing the quality of life for people living with cancer,” said Pam Swenk, executive director of the LLS Greater Illinois Chapter.
LLS is also the leading source of free information, patient support and education for people with blood cancer. In Illinois, the Be Your Own Advocate (BYOA) program provides newly-diagnosed patients with a free, interactive resource book to help them take charge of their treatment.
In addition to the Rockford event, other Light the Night Walks will take place this year in Chicago, northwest Indiana and Elmhurst Saturday, Oct. 19, and in Glenview Sunday, Oct. 20. For more information or to register for a local walk, contact the Greater Illinois Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at (312) 651-7354 or visit www.lightthenight.org/il.
From the Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2013, issue