It truly is a beautiful thing to see such a large and diverse group of individuals gather together for a worthy cause.
On Saturday, Hemisfair Park was adorned with banners and lanterns as teams of people walked for and with their loved ones as part of a “Light the Night” event organized by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society specializes in raising awareness and funds for cancer research. Booths of “teams” were established and every group honored someone who is a survivor or is currently undergoing treatment.
Among the many groups was one from Keystone High School, a small, private school in downtown San Antonio.
“We’re honoring a member of the Keystone community who has been diagnosed. There’s about 160 or 170 of us, all here to raise awareness for him and all of the other people who are survivors or battling cancer,” said Nia Clements, one of the organizers of the Keystone team.
“Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, I have been involved,” said Donny Duggan. “I come out to the Leukemia Lymphoma Light the Night Walk every year I can make it.”
Beril Saygin, who learned about the walk at school, believes that the walk is important.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity to come together with the community to support a wonderful cause,” Saygin said. “It's not only affected people in our community, but also so many people around the world.”
As the night progressed, no one in Hemisfair Park had to worry. At 7:30 p.m., the picturesque scene of hundreds of yellow and red lanterns glowed through the night in honor of those who have fought or continue to fight in the battle against cancer.
“Three of my very good friends, in a span of three months, were diagnosed with cancer,” said 15-year-old Caitlin Noel, the founder of the Lady Bird Johnson High School chapter of Got Hope.
According to Noel, Got Hope is a non-profit that specializes in in-patient care. She says that her team visits children suffering from life-threatening diseases and does things like decorate hospital rooms or leave gifts for patients.
“When you’re in a hospital, it’s so easy to feel isolated or alone or really lose who you are,” Noel said. “We give those kids that sense of hope and a reason to smile.”
As the evening came to a close, the breathtaking view of the lanterns served as a beautiful summary of what LLS and Light the Night stand for.
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