Setting the night alight with hope

AN emotional walk of hope for a future without cancer attracted more than 100 people to Victory Park, Traralgon recently.

The annual Light the Night transformed the park into a sea of blue, white and gold balloons, representing support for the Leukaemia Foundation, victims suffering from a blood disorder or to remember those who lost their fight with leukaemia.

Light the Night Traralgon organiser Dawn O’Connell said the event raised more than $1700 towards blood cancer research.

“There were people, total strangers, going up and speaking to each other to find out everyone’s story,” Ms O’Connell said.

“We had some young men and woman (at the event) who are in trouble, the emotions (throughout the evening) were very raw.

“The sharing of stories is vital for people who are going through the journey.”

The Traralgon event began three years ago in support of three blood disorder victims, 16 year-old Ryan Gunn, Rhonda Lynch and Wayne Higgins.

Last year, Ryan and Ms Lynch lost their battle with leukaemia.

“Last year we vowed that we will continue Light the Night for the next 10 years at least,” Ms O’Connell said.

At Light The Night Traralgon musician Wayne Higgins spoke about his battle with experimental medication after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder three years ago.

About 45 people are diagnosed with a form blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and related disorders in the Latrobe Valley each year, according to the Leukaemia Foundation.

For more information or to donate to the Traralgon branch phone Ms O’Connell on 0412 161 419.