Miss A Columnist

Andrea Davis-Gonzalez is a Seattleite who has written published articles ever since she was in high school. She is a fierce, passionate journalist devoted to extending a voice to those seldom heard in our society. In 2010, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Washington University. Andrea has written articles for the Yakima-Herald Republic and Tacoma's News Tribune. She was also an intern for CW11/KSTW, a Seattle affiliate of the CW Network, where she assisted production crews and promoted shows, such as The Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place and The Office. Although she has a love-hate relationship with Seattle, often influenced by the weather, she enjoys everything about the city that makes unique, especially when the sun comes out.

Leukemia And Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night At Seattle’s Green Lake Park

Team Love posing during The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk in 2012. (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

Team Love posing during The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in 2012. (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

Symbolic lighted balloons glow in the encroaching night as thousands of people gather to honor and remember loved ones. Their joint efforts to raise money resonate during one special night. Hopeful friends, families, coworkers and strangers unite, committed to one common dream: a world without cancer.

Every September, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) observes Blood Cancer Awareness Month and launches its nationwide fundraising event. Proceeds raised from Light the Night will support its mission to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. During the walk, participants carry and later release illuminated balloons in one of three colors: red for supporters, white for survivors and gold for loved ones lost to cancer.

In the U.S., someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer every four minutes and nearly 150,000 people will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma this year, according to the LLS. However, survival rates have multiplied since the LLS has funded life-saving blood cancer research and, with your help, they will continue to grow.

Finish Line LTN 2012

Participants gather at the finish line during Light the Night in Seattle’s Green Lake Park. (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

Support the cause with Seattle’s Light the Night on Saturday, September 28 at Green Lake Park rain or shine. The evening will begin with a remembrance ceremony at 5 p.m. followed by festivities and the walk, which begins at 7 p.m. Registration is free. Walkers who raise at least $100 receive an illuminated balloon, a Light The Night T-shirt and food. However, survivors and patients do not need to raise money to receive these benefits.

Seattle Met is sponsoring Light the Night for its second year and hopes to raise $13,000. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Washington/Alaska chapter hopes to raise $550,000 for its Seattle event and $175,000 for Tacoma’s Light the Night on Saturday, September 21. In Green Lake Park last year, at least 2,500 participants raised more than $680,000.

Light the Night, the largest cancer fundraising evening walk in the country, attracts an average of 250,000 participants annually. Between September 17 and November 21, 166 Light the Night walks will take place across the U.S. in cities including San Diego, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, New York City and Miami. Please click here to find your local walk.


Alejandro, my friend’s eight-year-old son, shows a chemotherapy scar on his chest. Team Love is participating in the Light the Night walk in his honor. (Photo Credit: Ozzie H.)

Seattle Miss A columnist and leukemia survivor Stacey Mertes and I have paired up for Light the Night under the group name Team Love. Four years ago, Stacey’s then 5-year-old son named the team after his love for her. We will participate in Light the Night in honor of a special boy from Miami, Alejandro, who is the son of a good friend of mine.

In May, 8-year-old Alejandro was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the same type Stacey battled. With ALL, the most common type of cancer in children, abnormal white cells in the blood and bone marrow progress rapidly, crowding normal cells and weakening their defense against infections.

He is one of approximately 3,605 children younger than 15 years old expected to be diagnosed with leukemia throughout the U.S. this year, according to the LLS. We are inspired to bring hope to families and children bravely fighting cancer like Alejandro. Please join or donate to our team or visit the LLS donation page.

As a nonprofit organization, the LLS relies on the generosity of donors to fund extensive research for treatments and cures, government advocacy, patient assistance programs, community outreach and education programs. Although cancer research continues to advance toward a cure in the future, we can collectively make a difference today.

WHEN: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Remembrance Ceremony: 5 p.m.
Walk: 7 p.m.

Green Lake Park
7201 East Green Lake Drive N.
Seattle, WA 98115

REGISTRATION: Signing up is free. To register for Light the Night in Seattle or Tacoma, please click here.

PARKING:  A complimentary shuttle service from 4:30 – 9:45 p.m. on walk night will be available. The last shuttle to leave Green Lake will be at 9:30 p.m. Shuttles will have pick ups and drop offs at the following locations:

Green Lake Park and Ride: 6601 8th Avenue (65th Street and Interstate 5)
Aqua Theater: 5900 West Green Lake
Bathhouse Theater: 7312 W Green Lake
Light The Night Walksit, Green Lake Community Center: 7201 E Greenlake Drive North

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