As September is coming to a close, so is leukemia and lymphoma awareness month. But the cause is fresh on the minds of Hoos for a Cure, a group of University of Virginia students fighting for a cure for blood cancers.
"I've seen people who have been closely and personally affected by it, and that in turn has had an effect on me," second-year student Stephanie Newton said.
Newton says she's been lucky. She has never had to fight leukemia or lymphoma personally, but meeting others who have, inspired her to join the fight against blood cancers. And she's not alone.
"I never realized how many people it affected, and just the fact that like three out of six of our officers last year had it and survived it is awesome. And it's showing how much progress we're making," said Allison Osborne, a Hoos for a Cure member.
Hoos for a Cure is getting ready for the annual Light the Night Walk, a fundraising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Those who haven't lived with the cancers carry red balloons lit by candles during the walk, and they are joined by those who have fought, or are fighting, the diseases. It's a sight that Newton says catches her breath.
"The survivors of blood cancers carry white balloons with candles, and just the contrast of the red balloons and the white balloons that everyone is carrying together, it's just an unbelievable experience," she said.
The walk starts at the Charlottesville Pavillion on the evening of October 16. There's still time to sign up or get a team together for the walk. Click here to register.