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.