Light The Night walks to fight cancer

Community members and students of Sonoma State University rallied together Saturday, to fight for a cure for cancer at the Light The Night Walk in Santa Rosa. 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held it’s annual Light The Night Walk on Saturday, where hundreds fundraised and walked to find a cure for blood cancers. 

Dean of the school of business and economics, William Silver, was at the Light The Night Walk with his son Benji Silver, who is a Leukemia survivor. 

“The Light The Night Walk is a very special event because it brings the community together in support of people that [have] fought cancer and tonight we honor those who have survived and remember those that haven’t,” said Silver, “There is no bigger team here than the one from Sonoma State. It’s real exciting to see the Seawolf community rally.” 

The Light The Night Walk consisted of almost two miles, and started and ended in downtown Santa Rosa, in old courthouse square. 

Benji Silver was the honored hero at the Santa Rosa Light The Night Walk; he was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three months, with only a 30 percent chance of survival.

With several treatments including chemotherapy, total body radiation, early experimental target therapies, and a bone marrow transplant; Benji now lives cancer free. 

Benji is the team captain of ‘The Cancer Conquerors’ which fundraised over $32,000, of which over two-thirds was fundraised by Benji.

“Benji, he’s really an amazing young man,” said Ray Johnson, director of the Wine Business Institute.
“It’s great to see the community come together, to rally around something like this to support to find a cure, to support people who have suffered with this terrible disease.”

Over 170 students signed up to fundraise and walk at the Light The Night Walk Saturday. Including several sororities like Lambda Kappa Pi and Alpha Omicron Pi were in attendance.

The Silver family has not been the only ones at Sonoma State affected by blood cancers. Sophie Edwards; a Hutchins major had her life affected by Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Edwards was at The Light the Night Walk with the support of her sorority, Lambda Kappa Pi.

“There’s a whole Sonoma State team we didn’t have last year, I’m really glad to see everyone out here supporting it,” said Edwards.

Thirty-two members of Lambda Kappa Pi came in support of Edwards at the Light The Night Walk, including Emily Gonzales a Hutchins major at Sonoma State. 

“I’m here to support my sisters and people with leukemia and lymphoma,” said Gonzales “It’s good to see that our school is supporting a cause, I didn’t think I would see this many people.” 

The Light The Night Walk raised $206,031, just under the total goal of $250,000.  Light The Night Walk, hosted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, funds life-saving research and gives support to people who are battling cancer. 

Each year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosts it’s Light The Night Walk in the San Francisco Bay Area, the money fundraised goes to researching for a cure for people with blood cancers. 

Research made by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society states that an estimated 1,129,813 people in the U.S. are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. 

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s goal is to cure all forms of blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.