The Blood Bank of Delmarva will march in solidarity with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Delaware Chapter, and several other teams during the Light the Night event to be held on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

So far, 37 people have signed up for the BBD’s Light the Night team, Volunteer & Community Relations Coordinator Angela Williamson said.

“We have staff from different departments, family and friends of staff, volunteers, and a donor as part of the team!” Williamson said, ecstatic at the response. 

Light the Night is an evening to celebrate survivors, to remember those loved ones lost to a blood cancer like leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said Heather McGraw, correspondence manager and communications assistant for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  It’s an event that is perfect for everyone of all ages with food, music and vendors.

“It’s a great event with oncologists, children who have survived, people who are currently going through treatment as well as the families and friends of people  who we’ve lost to these diseases,” McGraw said. “And, the remembrance pavilion is a dedicated space that people go to and take a moment to write a note remembering them and honoring them.”

All participants get a lantern, she said. The red lantern is for solidarity against blood cancers, gold is for those who have lost someone to a blood cancer and the white is for those who have survived a blood cancer.

“The lanterns have a battery and light in them and the most powerful part of the event is the circle of survivors with the white lanterns surrounded by a sea of red and gold lanterns,” McGraw said. “It’s a very special evening.”

Registration for teams starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Shortly before 7 p.m., an evening ceremony takes place.  Then, the one-mile walk that takes participants past the DuPont mansion shortly before 7:30 p.m.

“We walk through the DuPont mansion grounds and around the hospital so that children who are undergoing treatment and cannot be out in public because of their compromised immune systems can wave to us from their windows with their lanterns,” McGraw said. “It’s extremely powerful.”

The event wraps up by 8:30 p.m., McGraw said.

BBD Manager, Donor Testing Laboratory Anne Sinopoli is bringing a squad of half a dozen staff, and Manager of Donor Services Rachele Allison is bringing the largest subgroup to the team – 11 family members and friends.

“I participated in this event for BBD several years ago and I am happy to see the organization become involved once again,” Allison said. “It is a great initiative and a cause that many people here at BBD can support by participating themselves or encouraging others to join our team.”

BBD Vice President of Technical Services Ric Thomas is also among those who have signed up.

“We at BBD are very much touched by these diseases as many of these children require transfusion support as part of their treatment options in fighting these cancers,” Thomas said in a companywide email. “Please consider supporting your BBD walking team by either signing up to walk with us or by … donating to this cause.  Any amount you can afford is welcome.”

So far, the Blood Bank of Delmarva team has raised $725, Williamson said. Here is the team page to donate to BBD’s Light the Night Team.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will also hold a Light the Night event the following weekend at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. in partnership with Bayhealth on Saturday, Oct. 13.