BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Every year, Idahoans lose loved ones in a fight to cancer. So every year, the Treasure Valley hosts "Light the Night" in an effort to get that number down. The walk is aimed at raising money and awareness for friends and family living with Leukemia or Lymphoma.
Dan Parker, a four-time cancer survivor, says he owes a lot of his success in his ten year fight with Hodgkins Lymphoma to people who have supported him at the walk throughout the years.
He was diagnosed with the disease in 2003. He's been through chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, stem cell research and even an experimental treatment that's put him in remission for the past three years.
Parker began volunteering at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Boise about a year after he was first diagnosed and has been walking at "Light the Night" ever since.
"The light the night walk gives me hope because it shows how many people care, how many people are trying to help find a cure," Parker said, "Those people are putting their money where their mouths are. They're out there creating awareness for these diseases. They're also asking their friends and family members for those donations that go toward the life saving research that gives me hope."
Balloons are a special part of "Light the Night." Caregivers and supporters are given a red balloon. People walking in memory of someone who died from the cancer carry gold balloons. And anyone who has survived Leukemia or Lymphoma walks with a white balloon. Once it gets dark out, a light is turned on inside of every balloon to light up the night in honor of those fighting blood cancer.
Money raised by walking teams at the event goes straight to people battling the cancers in the Treasure Valley.
"You are supporting a wide variety of life saving research and patient resources here in our community," said Parker, "Multiple family support groups, patient financial aid, and all kinds of wonderful benefits for folks in our community."
Those benefits include experimental treatments like the one that helped Parker become cancer free.
This year's "Light the Night" walk will be held this Thursday, October third at 5 in the evening in Ann Morrison Park. For more information, click here.