Light the Night event in GR raises cancer awareness, research funds

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of people gathered at Monroe North in Grand Rapids Saturday for the Light the Night event.

The event was organized by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting cancer.

Meredith Gremel, a cancer survivor, was one of the people in attendance. 

“Families, colleagues and friends here to support us makes a world of difference,” Gremel said. “Gives us hope and strength in dark days.”

Gremel has a chronic form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She is in stable condition and felt compelled to participate in the event as a speaker, sharing stories about her cancer journey and a fundraiser. 

“Means the world to everybody fighting blood cancers,” Gremel said. “The work Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is doing to help find the cure is hard to put into words. Just incredible.”

People in attendance showed their support for people battling cancer by carrying red, white and gold lanterns that were illuminated at night. 

“Our survivors and patients carry a white lantern,” said Anne Bradley, a campaign development manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “Those who have lost someone carry gold. Those who support someone who has dealt with cancer or want to see it end, carry red.”

6-year-old Keegan Williams, a cancer survivor.

Just like Gremel, 6-year-old Keegan Williams is also a cancer survivor. 

“All these people support me and it makes me feel really happy,” Williams said. 

He loves sports and could be found playing cornhole at the gathering. 

Williams was diagnosed leukemia at age three. He is currently in remission. 

“It doesn’t feel the best, but I’m almost done with it,” Williams said. “Nice that it’s almost done and something to look forward to.”

Event organizers are hoping to raise $340,000 from the event in Grand Rapids and more than $1,000,000 from Light the Night events statewide. 

For more information on how to donate, head to lightthenight.org.

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