FOREVER REMEMBERED: Gayle Hines, Shane Beattie, Isabella Beattie, Courtnee Forrest and Jacob Beattie remember Mr Beattie's mother.
FOREVER REMEMBERED: Gayle Hines, Shane Beattie, Isabella Beattie, Courtnee Forrest and Jacob Beattie remember Mr Beattie's mother. Melanie Keyte

Laidley lights up with love and hope

GEOFF Beattie's wife was on his mind last Friday evening when he led Laidley's first ever Light the Night event in support of families battling blood cancer.

He was just one of about 50 people who braved the rainy weather on October 6 to remember lost loved ones, draw comfort from supporters and express solidarity.

The region's Leukaemia Foundation branch president Judy Collie said she was stoked to see the display.

"You know then that people do care,” she said.

"I want to thank all the people who participated because holding things like this brings more awareness for the Valley and brings it to the fore.”

"It makes you realise there are a lot of people affected.”

Deanna Little, who lost her father seven years ago to leukaemia, fought back tears as she watched the glowing lights parade around the sports fields.

She said carrying a golden lantern to represent his spirit meant the world to her.

"I hope next year it grows and becomes something big in the Lockyer Valley,” she said.

Among the sad stories of loss were also tales which brought hope.

Three-year-old Sophia Billington happily carried a white lantern alongside her family to represent her own diagnosis.

Her mother Hayley Billington said the toddler was diagnosed when she was 22 months old and had just completed her treatment.

"All is good now, but that's the reason why we're here,” she said.

Mayor Tanya Milligan opened the event wearing a scarf gifted to her by the Bartons, who lost their daughter Carly in 1997 to leukaemia.


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