LIGHT UP: Deanna Little and Chris Groves with Jack Little, 9, and John Little, 12 carry gold lanterns to remember Ms Little's father. At Laidley's first ever Light the Night, October 6 2017.
LIGHT UP: Deanna Little and Chris Groves with Jack Little, 9, and John Little, 12 carry gold lanterns to remember Ms Little's father. At Laidley's first ever Light the Night, October 6 2017. Melanie Keyte

Light up at the annual event for Leukaemia

LOCKYER Valley's Leukaemia Foundation are calling for people to get involved in their event Light the Night on the first week of October.

It will be the second time the event is held in Laidley, to pay tribute to those who have been affected by blood cancer either personally or through a loved one.

Lockyer Brisbane Valley Branch of the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia, Secretary Judy Collie, said the event unites people who have been affected by leukaemia with the wider community.

"Mixing with other people who are going through the same thing or have been through the same things seems to empower people,” Mrs Collie said.

It's an opportunity to "meet those people in need and talk to them if they're prepared to discuss it and find out what they're going through”.

In Australia, more than 60,000 people are living with a blood cancer including leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma and every day another 35 people are diagnosed.

Organisers are urging people to get involved with the cause as one day they could be the ones requiring help.

"I think you never know whether you will be influenced or involved in the care of someone who gets a blood cancer because it hits anywhere, it's no respecter of age or sex or whatever it just happens,” Mrs Collie said.

Sophia Billington, 3, has just finished her treatment for blood cancer. She carried a white lantern to represent her journey at Laidley's first ever Light the Night, October 6 2017.
Sophia Billington, 3, has just finished her treatment for blood cancer. She carried a white lantern to represent her journey at Laidley's first ever Light the Night, October 6 2017. Melanie Keyte

White, yellow and blue lanterns will fill the Laidley oval again this year identifying each participants connection to the disease.

White lanterns were carried by someone who had the condition, while those who carried gold lanterns did so to remember a loved one and blue represented the support of the wider community.

"We do a lot of other fundraising and we send money in and we can stipulate whether we want it to go to research of patient support (power bills and rates paid).”

The Laidley event includes an evening lantern ceremony and walk which will be held in around 140 locations across Australia.

The event united around 50 people in 2017, a number Mrs Collies hopes to see increase.

"We were lucky we got over 50 at our first event but we are hoping for a lot more this year,” she said.

While the 12 Leukaemia branch members in Laidley are working tirelessly to ensure another successful event, Mrs Collie said they also need

"We try to get everyone involved we are really looking for members for the branch at the moment for someone to come in with new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm,” she said.

"Lots of our members are getting older, we've got a few ones coming in but it would be nice to have some young mothers and fathers.”


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