BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thousands of lights — each representing a unique battle — will come together Friday night to illuminate Delaware Park in the fight against cancer of the blood.
Survivors and family of those who did not win their battles come together to walk, lanterns in hand, to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. One mother says she walks every year — her family watched her daughter fight and beat Leukemia.
Michele Chapuis and her daughter Rachel Chapuis pulled a banner they only see once each year from storage. It looks like its designers were in pre-school, because at the time — they were. Rachel Chapuis’ classmates designed it to support the two-year-old as she fought against a vicious disease.
“I don’t remember a lot because I was two,” Rachel said. “I just remember like the hospital and everything about that.”
The banner represents victory now, but Michele says it reminds her of the pain and panic that came with her daughter’s cancer diagnosis.
“You feel very helpless, because there’s nothing you can do,” she said. “You just hope that the treatment is going to do what it’s supposed to do.”
To the Chapuis family, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society became a lifeline, and the walk became a way for her friends and family to show their support not just to them, but to all people combating the disease.
“We just rallied our friends and our family and said here, if you want to do something, here’s something we can do,” Michele said. “This is our eleventh year now.”
In their eleventh year of walking, Rachel is now rallying those classmates who originally designed the banner of support, to walk with her in celebration.
“It’s so impressive to see how many people come out for it, and it’s a great moment of support for the people going through all of this,” Michele said.