BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Stacie Bliss will pick up a lantern and join thousands of walkers this Friday night for a sunset ceremony in Delaware Park. The annual “Light the Night” event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, and it’s really pretty amazing because there’s so many people,” Bliss explained.
The leukemia survivor started walking at the event when she was 5 years old. “I was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 1999. It was just before I started kindergarten,” Bliss recalled.
She remembers the awful pain that signaled something was wrong. “I complained that my legs hurt all the time, which makes sense because your femurs produce the most blood, and I had a blood cancer, so I had mis-formed cells.”
After a month in the hospital, a transfusion, and rounds of treatments, Stacie battled back. “It was super early Stage 1. I was extremely fortunate,” Bliss recalled.
She refused to allow the disease to define her. In 2001,. Stacie received the Bob Koop Courage Award, named for our our late News 4 anchor. A year later, she formed a team and started walking in “Light the Night.”
“I come from a tiny little town in WNY, so pretty much everybody in Arcade [partipated]. We got four or five buses, so everyone came out and we did our first walk in Delaware Park.”
Those memories bring her back year after year. It’s a pilgrimage of sorts — for Stacie — and for thousands of others.
“To go and just see all of the lanterns and everything lit up at night — there’s so much support, it’s really just astounding. — to see everyone who just wants to help and do anything they can,” Bliss suggested.
News 4 is a proud and longtime sponsor of the event. It’s not too late to register. Click here for more information.
If you’d like to make a direct donation to our News 4 Light the Night team, click here.