Leukemia and Lymphoma patients get ready for ‘Light the Night’ in Cary

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) —  Cancer  doesn’t discriminate.

It strikes the young — the old — men and women.

Just the mere mention of it can shake a family to its core.

But thanks to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Carolina, there’s hope — and it starts with putting one foot in front of the other.

Next weekend, many folks in the Triangle will participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.

The annual event funds research to find cures and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.

“I have two small children, so my family takes care of them while I’m in the hospital,” said Shana Allen.

For Shana Allen,  home is near Greensboro, but since July  home increasingly has become the halls of the Duke Cancer Institute  nearly two hours away in Durham.

“I have lymphoma,” Allen said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer — and for Shana — treatment means it’s hard to get away.

“My leash… it goes everywhere with me,” she says laughingly referring to her IV that can be wheeled throughout the hospital with her.

Thomas Goode knows about “the leash” all too well. He’s walked the halls of the Duke Cancer Institute with one a lot over the years — battling myeloma — another type of blood cancer.

He’s walking the halls with Shana, her fellow cancer patients and their caregivers — to kick off the Light the Night walk.

For Shana and the others — their leashes keep them from making that walk with thousands of others outside in Cary later this month. But LLS refuses to leave them behind.

“This right here gives them hope, it lets them know that hey even though I’m right here in the bed, the community is still thinking about us as we sit here laying down going through our treatment,” Goode said.

White lanterns mark patients and survivors. Red lanterns indicate their loved ones.

“We’re fighting and all the support and encouragement doesn’t go unnoticed. Anything anybody’s willing to do, if it’s just a kind word, it’s all very appreciated,” Allen said.

Shana has cause to hope as she fights. Lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer — and funding for research can help end blood cancers.

CBS North Carolina is a proud sponsor of this year’s Light The Night walk on October 22.

If you’d like to participate or even donate to the cause — you can find out how by clicking here.

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