LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) -The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society gathered as a community to raise money for blood cancer research and treatment. Their 60th annual Light the Night fundraiser anticipated over 2,000 people to walk the Siena College campus.
Described as holding the fifth largest fundraising walks in the world, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has raised over one billion dollars since its start in 1949. The local New York chapter was founded in 1963 by the Ostroff family and others.
“They thought when I was born in 1960 that I had leukemia. At the time, leukemia was fatal. There was no survival,” described Rick Ostroff of Ostroff Associates.
Rick Ostroff was eventually diagnosed with a different blood disorder and later became co-chair of the Light the Night Fundraiser with the co-owner of Lia Cars, Bill Lia. Together they raise money for a cure.
“People who have a blood cancer and are in treatment here in the region,” said Ostroff. “And a larger amount of the money also goes towards research and development of new drugs, new therapies,” added Lia.
Fellow blood cancer survivors like Timothy Higgins took to the stage to talk about their fights. He says being part of an event like this is paying forward all the help he received. “Tip my hat to everyone who supported me when I was going through treatment. Even after the fact, we raised quite a bit of money.”
As the final numbers continue to roll in, the chairs of the walk made an announcement before everyone began the mile stretch. “Tonight’s walk and everything leading up to it will raise over one million dollars for blood cancer. So, thank you and for helping us hit our goal and have an incredible walk tonight,” exclaimed Lia.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has more planned for 2023. A virtual experience will be held in November for registered participants.