Worcester State Students participate in ‘Light the Night’

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

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By Lindsey Bullen

Editors Note: Lindsey Bullen is a WSU Senate member contributing this article as an account of the WSU students participating in the 2012 ‘Light the Night’ walk.

On September 20, Student Senate was approached by a representative from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The question posed to Senate was this: Would Worcester State like to create a team of students to help ‘Light the Night’ with hundreds of others at their annual Worcester walk on Sunday, October 14?

Within ten minutes, a plan had been put into motion to rally the campus community to action. By the next day, an official Worcester State  team had formed, a Facebook event was created, all student organizations were notified and asked to participate, and attempts to fundraise and spread awareness for the cause began.

The end result was a team of twenty students from all areas of the campus community, donned in WSU’s signature blue and gold, walking down Shrewsbury Street on a beautiful fall night, carrying symbolically colored red, gold, and white balloons to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Needless to say, it was a truly touching moment.

The night kicked off with a rally in Cristoforo Colombo Park on Shrewsbury Street. Anyone who raised over $100 was deemed a “Champion for the Cure” and was granted balloon of their choice. Red balloons signified supporters of the cause, gold balloons were in memory of someone who lost their battle with cancer, and white signified a cancer survivor. Inside each balloon was a small light bulb that could be turned on and off, hence the name of the walk: Light the Night.

Personal stories of those lost to cancer were shared, as well as stories of hope and survival. When indicated, those who were survivors of cancer and possessed white balloons were asked to turn their light on and raise the balloon proudly in the air. Then, those possessing gold balloons in memory of a loved one lost were asked to do the same. Finally, the red balloons were raised and lit.

Standing in the large park with October winds blowing on your face and seeing a sea of balloons floating in the air, it was hard not to feel a mix of emotions, whether it be heartache, hope, or just the amazement that right before your eyes, something bigger than yourself was occurring.

Cancer takes away so much from those it touches, whether it be the patient themselves or the caretakers, family, and friends of those inflicted by such a tumultuous, unpredictable disease. All share in the pain of cancer. It was empowering to see what happens when hundreds of people who are tired of the pain, gather together to fight back against such a ravenous and relentless disease that has no consideration for those it strikes, proving that there truly is strength in numbers.

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