Tonight was the Light the Night Walk to raise money for leukemia research. We have raised funds for the walk every year since 2006, although we can't always attend. (In 2006, I had the flu; in 2008, there was massive flooding in the Chciago area and it was unsafe to get there from the suburbs.)
We attended with my parents in 2007, and we attended again tonight. It was really great to see so many people coming out to support research for blood cancers, as well as survivors and those who we've lost. I was also thankful for the people who had donated through me and Dave for the walk - your donations mean so much to me.
Because of the bar and the three weeks I have spent out of state since the bar, I didn't get the chance to do as much fundraising as I have in past years. I have thought of an idea for next year - incentive prizes! I am going to try to get donations from businesses as incentives for the top donors, and hopefully I will be able to promote it a little better next year.
There were a ton of people there this year, as always. It was really impressive to see the crowds, as it always makes me realize how big the support network is for blood cancer research. It is also just a beautiful walk along the lakefront, with the sights lit by twinkling red, white, and gold balloons.
They even had a tent where you could sign up to be a bone marrow donor (or, more accurately, stem cell donor). I had previously registered to be a donor, but Dave signed up. While he was filling out his paperwork, a nurse tried to convince me to donate blood. It sounds like a nice idea, but I'm completely icked out by the idea - maybe someday, though.
Especially because the walk is always set in the time of year when we discovered my dad's leukemia, I always think of how long it's been and how far he has come in his recovery. He has survived because he is a strong dude - I always say that my dad is way too tough and ornery to let a little leukemia get him.
But he has also had a lot of help, especially in the way of awesome advances in treatment, as well as the support and well wishes of friends and family. That support continues every year when people support the Light the Night Walk, and it means the world to me and my family.