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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Raising Funds to Fight Cancer on a Bright Stony Brook Night

    Illuminated red and white balloons filled the Stony Brook sky last Friday night as students, faculty and community members came together in the Light the Night Walk-A-Thon to raise funds and awareness for blood-related cancers. That night, nearly 500 walkers raised more than $75,000 dollars to support research to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’#146;s disease, and myeloma. Those that held white balloons were survivors or sufferers of a disease, and those with red balloons came to support the cause.

    ‘It’#146;s the first time we’#146;re running this walk here at Stony Brook. It’#146;s a very exciting night,’ said University President Shirley Strum Kenny.

    The walk comes in a year when an estimated 106,700 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. An estimated 60,400 people will die of one of these diseases this year alone. Current treatments include chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, and cultured stem cell transplants. The funds raised will go towards researching new drugs to increase the cure and remission rates for the illnesses.

    Stony Brook University has joined the cause during this year as part of its outreach program to the surrounding community in its ‘Golden Year of Community Service.’

    ‘We want to rally the community and the University to come together for these fundraising events,’ Kenny said. ‘This walk is a great opportunity to do that.’

    The walk, organized by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, was held to celebrate and commemorate those lives touched by these diseases and included walkers from several universities and towns. The Society runs 56 chapters nation-wide, with each chapter hosting several walks throughout the year. The Stony Brook walk was the last of three set to run in Suffolk County. Earlier this year, a walk in downtown Montauk hosted 200 walkers, and another at Hofstra had approximately 600.

    ‘It was great that the whole town came out. There were so many kids and families there; I think it was a good night,’ said George David, a junior at Polytechnic University.

    The short walk evoked strong emotions for those who had lost loved ones. Several teams were organized to remember individuals. Others came simply to show their support and donate to the cause. President Kenny walked with her husband in remembrance of their son, who passed away from leukemia.

    ‘We’#146;re walking for him, and for children like him,’ she said.

    Walkers were treated to light refreshments and an entertainment show at the SAC. The Inter Fraternity Sorority Council provided volunteers and walkers for the event and helped host the night’#146;s activities.

    ‘We were extremely happy with the help we received from the Sorority and Fraternity Council. There were a lot of volunteer efforts on their part,’ said Kristen Thorsen, Campaign Manager for Light the Night Walks.

    Throughout the year, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will run several fundraisers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This coming week, Volvo is sponsoring a Regatta at the Port Washington Yacht Club, where boats will set sail to raise money for the cause. Other events are running in Westchester and Manhattan.

    ‘We urge students and faculty to visit our website and come join us in these events,’ Thorsen said. ‘Our experience at Stony Brook was amazing. Everyone was so organized, and so willing to help; we hope to make it an annual event at the University.’

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