GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual “Light the Night” illuminated Jones Park Thursday as hundreds walked for a cure.
Everyone who signs up to walk at the event gets a lantern, each with a special meaning. Natalie Giles carried a yellow lantern to remember her father.
“He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, and unfortunately lost his battle in February of this year,” she explained.
Trendall Edwards walked with his family while holding a red lantern in support of his sister.
“She’s been dealing with this for a very long time now, going up on 20 years," said Edwards.
Ed Carmine held a white lantern to honor fellow survivors and celebrate personal triumph.
“I’m a cancer survivor of multiple myeloma. Diagnosed in January and I’m cancer-free today,” he said.
LLS holds “Light the Night” annually to raise money not just for research, but for life-saving treatment and patient support services.
“A lot of prayers went up for him during this time, and for him to be cancer free in just six months, it’s a miracle," said Susan Carmine, Ed’s wife.
Emotions poured as survivors of all walks of life lifted their lanterns.
“It can affect anybody, so you never know," Giles stated.
Family members said being present is the best medicine they can offer.
“To go through something by yourself is one thing. But to have people in your corner, have your back, and look around and see those same faces that have always been there, that helps it even more.”
Learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s fight for a cure at lightthenight.org