There’s a phenomenon colloquially known as the “fight or flight” response: our instinctual reaction to high-stress situations. We either run, or we attack!
When it comes to the fight or flight response, those diagnosed with cancer can be placed firmly in the “fight” category: they battle for their lives, and win or lose, they give that fight everything they have.
Last week, Veristat participated once again in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night walk in Boston, an event designed to raise money towards the research and treatment of blood cancers. Witnessing the turnout for the event in Boston was quite an amazing experience. Every year at this event, the Boston Common becomes a tri-color sea of Light The Night lanterns:
RED Lanterns signify supporters of the cause
GOLD Lanterns signify those walking in memory of a loved one
WHITE Lanterns identify the "fighters" or the cancer survivors themselves
Veristat, being a clinical research organization, fights alongside them: medical and pharmaceutical research is constantly making strides, and that is never more apparent than during the lantern lighting ceremony at Light The Night.
The Light The Night walk has a powerful tradition called the “Survivor’s Circle.” During the introduction of the walk, where survivors and sponsors are invited to speak, they ask anyone carrying a white lantern, any cancer survivors, to gather in the center of the crowd. While they make their way to the center, they ask for first the red lanterns to be lit and raised, then the gold. Once all the survivors are assembled, they ask them to light and raise their lanterns together -- in a veritable sea of red and gold lanterns, a huge cluster of white is raised in the center, representing all those who were told, “You have cancer,” and managed to beat it.
View the Survivor's Circle Video:
"I challenge anyone to stand there among a crowd of 4,000+ people, watching as these brave survivors of blood cancer raise their white lanterns together, without feeling the power of that moment."
-Colleen Kehew, Team Veristat Light The Night Champion
It was impossible to participate in the lantern lighting ceremony without understanding the incredible fact that leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers had somehow touched the lives of everyone standing in Boston Common that night. There was no way to witness all those lives that were saved through scientific research and medicine, all those white lanterns being thrust triumphantly into the air, without feeling hopeful.
The Light The Night walk is designed to raise money to fund blood cancer research and treatment. Veristat was thrilled to surpass our company goal of raising more than $5,000 for the cause. Team Veristat was honored to be a part of Light The Night’s lantern lighting ceremony and the walk around Boston Common. We look forward to participating again next year.
You don't have to wait for next year's walk to beat blood cancers, you can support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by donating today!