Despite restrictions due to COVID-19, UCT home office employees and members of Columbus’ M.J. Terapak Council 144 and Buckeye Council 2000 stepped up to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual Light the Night Walk on Oct. 23. The walk – a virtual walkathon this year – is expected to raise $1 million for blood cancer research, and UCT’s walkers raised $1,050 toward the effort.
The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. Investing over $1.3 billion, the organization is the largest funder of cutting edge research to advance cures and treatments. Funding research and providing support services to patients and their families during their cancer journey requires resources, which Light the Night Walks held in more than 140 communities each year help with. This is UCT’s 18th year participating in the walk, and we are proud that we have raised more than $36,000 for this worthy cause.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was born out of a family’s grief following the death of their teenage son. Robert “Robbie” Roesler de Villiers, son of a well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia in 1944. Five years later, frustrated by the lack of effective treatments for what was then considered a hopeless disease, parents Rudolph and Antoinette De Villiers started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name.
Driven by the de Villiers’ nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the organization grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area and slowly expanding nationally.
2020 will be my fourth year participating in the Light the Night walk. I have a cousin who lives with leukemia and my sister-in-law’s mom passed away from lymphoma, so donating to this cause through the Light the Night walk is close to my heart. I’ll miss the nighttime walk this year, but I’m glad to have had another chance to contribute.