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Sugar House Journal

Light the Night event uses virtual platform to remember those affected by cancer

Sep 29, 2020 13h56 ● By Drew Crawford

On Saturday, Oct. 7 Light the Night will hold a virtual gathering in honor of those affected by blood cancers. (Photos courtesy Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) will be holding its annual Light the Night event. 

The purpose of event, which under normal circumstances would take place in person, exists to bring solidarity and awareness in the Salt Lake community toward the fight against blood cancer. 

This year, due to COVID-19, Light the Night will be held virtually with the structure remaining largely unchanged. 

Three days before the event registrants will be given a link to log on to the virtual platform where the event will be hosted. 

Light the Night will kick off with an opening ceremony where Dr. Marc Harrison, the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, will be the honored White Lantern representative. Other speakers, who are still to be determined, will be from different age groups and demographics to show that cancer can affect anyone. 

“Our opening ceremony is all around our survivors. They come to the middle of the circle, and they take that moment as survivors together to realize that they’re not the only ones going through this journey, that there are other people that have the same side effects, that have the same challenges, that have the same worries that they do,” Aubrey Allison, the Campaign Development manager for the event, said.

After the opening ceremony participants will be able to visit the virtual circle of survivors, or the remembrance pavilion on the site to honor their loved ones. 

Cancer survivors will be able to submit their stories in real time to the circle of survivors of their battle against cancer. As they enter their stories, a white lantern will pop up for each survivor, allowing the community to interact with it in an online format. 

The LLS will use their three iconic lantern colors: red, white and yellow. White is held by survivors and those who battled cancer. Yellow lanterns are held by those honoring or walking in memory of somebody that they have lost. A red lantern can be held by those who are a supporter of the mission in general. 

Attendees will be able to participate through augmented reality by taking a selfie of themselves holding their hand out to the side. They will be able to switch the color of lanterns that their hand is holding. 

Allison recognizes that with the daily struggles of COVID-19 people can lose sight of the constant impact that cancer has on the community.

“Especially in the midst of COVID, cancer patients are still having to fight and go through treatments, and people are still getting diagnosed in the midst of a pandemic, that we are still here fighting for them, and we have not slowed down,” Allison said.

“It’s really bringing the community together, showing that everyone has some sort of connection to cancer, whether that is themselves or a friend.”

For anyone that wants to participate in the event, registration for Light the Night is free. Registrants can sign up for the event as an individual or a team and will then be given a link to donate. This year, anyone that donates $100 will be mailed a lantern and T-shirt that they can take pictures with and show their connection to cancer. 

The mission of the LLS is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. The money raised from the event will go toward researchers within the blood cancer world. Other funds and donations of any amount made will be used to support education, resources, and financial aid for family members. 

For questions about the event or on how to participate, contact Aubrey Allison at [email protected]. To register for the event, go to