PHOTOS: Balloons Light The Night To Fight Cancer
Thousands gather at Glenview's Gallery Park to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Cancer survivors, current patients and their supporters converged on Gallery Park in Glenview Sunday evening for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual Light the Night Walk.
The walk is a national event, with similar outings happening across the country and tens of millions of dollars raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Last year, more than $45 million was raised by Light the Night Walks across the country.
As walkers made their way around Gallery Park they carried red, white, and gold balloons: white for survivors, gold for those who have died, and red for supporters.
This year's walk honored two local participants who have been affected by leukemia or lymphoma. Oliver Wilde Plahn, a two-year-old from Glenoce, was diagnosed with lymphoma at 15 months. He faces at least two and a half more years of treatment.
“This diagnosis wreaks emotional and physical havoc on everyone involved,” Oliver's mother, Sarah, said in a press release. “It tests faith, relationships, patience, and the true grit of family and friends. It has also shown us the best of people, as we have had even long-lost family and friends reconnect to show their love and support in some of the most admirable ways.”
Also recognized was 39-year-old Garry Denk of Northbrook, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and endured four months of treatment. Today, he is happily cancer-free.
“I feel it is so important to support LLS and other groups so that everyone who is diagnosed with cancer will have the same opportunities and success as me," Denk said.
For the second time in a year, Denk walked with family and friends in the Light the Night Walk. Last year, the team called themselves "Garry Will Win."
This year, they had a new name: "Garry Won."