Monday, October 19, 2009

Lighting the Night With Hope

I have some new heroes. For two nights this week, my husband and I videotaped the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” walk in Manhattan and Queens to raise money for a cure and treatment of blood cancer. At the South Street Seaport, in pouring rain, thousands of people turned out to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge and show their support. I was soaked to the bone, but it was worth it. What an inspiring sight! Saturday night, we were in Forest Park, Queens, with another huge group carrying balloons with little lights inside. Red balloons for supporters, white balloons for survivors and gold balloons in memory for those who have died. It’s very moving to look at these enormous rivers of people, holding their balloons high, carrying banners that honor their loved ones and tell their stories.

One man, whose daughter is in her 20’s and has leukemia, told me that despite the Recession, more people gave money this year than in all the eight years that his family have been participating in this walk. They say that every step saves lives. It also reminds me of the generosity and compassion we have for each other.

I’ve been watching the news these past few months, seeing large groups of disgruntled Americans protesting various things. It struck me that being in a crowd of people who were filled with love and courage and hope is a great antidote to all that negativity boiling around us. It puts everything in perspective.

7 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

Hey Victoria...this was a very meaningful post, and yes...it does put things in perspective. Our youngest daughter had breast cancer at age 37 and had a double mastectomy. Her children were only 2 and 4. Friends in Arizona, California and our older daughter and 2 grandchildren walked for her in Nevada (they also walked for her in Long Island before they moved. Fortunately, she is doing very well. Having support makes it possible to get through things like this.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

Isn't that fascinating that in a recession the donations are more??? Perhaps people feel more empathetic in this type of economic climate. I went to a fundraiser for breast cancer in Chicago on Saturday, and it was quite successful, too.....Interesting.

Bill Evertson said...

I always enjoy your positive perspective on what matters in our lives. It was wonderful to see your description of these walks. Karen and I had a dear friend die of leukemia and your point about disgruntled protests puts much into perspective.

Ishtar said...

So true!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Your post really puts what's important into perspective. It sounds like a worthwhile project.

Spartacus Jones said...

Good to hear about that event.

Me, I don't consider people protesting to be negative, necessarily. Depends on what they're protesting.

In one case they're trying to save lives by stopping leukemia; in another they're trying to save lives by stopping a war.

Both those ideas seem pretty positive to me.

And considering how much we spend on war (around 12 billion a month in Iraq, if I recall correctly) just imagine what we might be able to do about leukemia and breast cancer and a few other things with that money.

I think each person has to fight the good fight whenever, wherever and however he or she can.

Just my opinion.

best,

sj

Victoria Cummings said...

SJ - I've got no problem with people protesting wars. You know the kind of protests I'm talking about - the ones we've been seeing on the news, disrupting town hall meetings and spreading false information and people flaunting guns in large gatherings where there are elected officials, including the President. We have a lot of freedom and rights in this country, but we don't have a lot of good news and loving, compassionate gatherings. At least, for the first time, there's been $5 billion dollars from government funding that's being aimed at medical research. Hopefully, it will yield some break-throughs in the fight against cancer.