LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2012) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Light the Night team raised $18,489.93 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual event this year.
Light the Night is an annual walking event that honors those whose lives have affected by blood cancers. During the walk, walkers carry illuminated balloons — white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.
The 2012 Light the Night walk took place at Whitaker Bank ballpark in Lexington. Markey's 105-member team included eight employees and 97 "friends" of Markey, including patients and family members. This year's grand total is the largest amount of money raised by a Markey team since they began participating in Light the Night.
While the team members hold special events throughout the year to raise funds for Light the Night, this year UK Office of Service Excellence employees Darwin Allen and Reda Gray and Markey Hematology Clinic employees Linda Leach and Donica Sweat supplemented the fundraising efforts by selling candy bars from Old Kentucky Candies in the clinic lobbies. Additionally, Versailles teenager Brett Butzer continued his ongoing letter-writing campaign — now in its ninth year — to help raise funds for Light the Night. Butzer became involved with the LLS in 2004 after his friend was diagnosed with leukemia.
Robin Fisher, who works for UK Markey Cancer Center Outpatient Services and served as team captain, said the importance of Markey's continued participation in Light the Night and the team's fundraising efforts hits home for local patients.
"A portion of the proceeds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society go toward cancer research, but other funds will go to patient services," Fisher said. "And when our patients are first diagnosed, they really benefit from those services."
Markey's Hematology and Blood & Marrow Transplant team treats all blood-related diseases, including aplastic anemia and other conditions that stem from a bone marrow failure, as well as some solid neoplastic diseases. More than 1,500 patients have received transplants from the Hematology and Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at UK HealthCare since the program was founded in 1982.