Having sat down to write our Light the Night note every year for the last 18, we’re struck by how much later in the summer we seem to be able to make the time. Our summers are increasingly filled with what we love most – time with friends and family, and escapes in our kayak – enjoyed even more after 2 years of the pandemic. So it’s with a very full heart that we reach out to let you know that once again, we’ll be walking in the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the goal of raising $7000 for research and family support – we hope you can help us get there!
With so much time having passed since John’s leukemia diagnosis, it’s the big markers of time that strike us both so much and make us so grateful for every moment of the last 18 years. One marker is that our niece Camille, who was born 3 weeks after John’s diagnosis, graduated from high school this spring. Having the chance to spend some time with her recently, to hear about her summer adventures in Europe and her plans for the fall, our hearts our filled to bursting. It’s particularly heartwarming since we saw so little of her in the first few years of her life due to our need to keep John away from colds and flus. It was so hard. We were finally able to visit her family when she was nearly 2, and as her brother and sister rushed us for hugs, she hid behind her mom because she didn’t know who we were. We are so glad to have had all this time to get to know her and make up for all the lost years.
When we think about the weeks and months of hospital stays and visits, of worry and treatment plans, it is not lost on us how our story is not shared by every person who has been diagnosed with blood cancer. Like many, we had the love and support of our friends and family, but we also were the recipients of a great deal of good fortune made possible by the investment of time and money into new treatments for leukemia.
John was lucky enough to have access to a new drug that put him into remission relatively quickly and allowed the bone marrow transplant necessary for him to survive. Our wish – and one of the reasons we do this walk every year – is to provide the researchers with the support to find the next drug and treatment that will save someone’s life, and give them the chance to build new memories with their family.
Times remain difficult so we know not everyone can give, but if you can, we appreciate it so much.
And if you would like to join us at this year’s walk on October 22nd, please let us know. Nothing makes us happier than to share the evening with as many of you as possible.
Lots of love and gratitude
Christianne and John