Fund-Raising Event To Benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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Light the Night is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's fastest-growing national signature fund-raising event. This 2- to 3-mile evening walk commemorates those whose lives have been touched by blood cancers; survivors carry illuminated white balloons, while friends and family carry red ones as a symbol of hope for a cure.

Light the Night is a family event, with food, entertainment and fun. In 2004 participants walked in 230 communities across the country. In Tempe, 164 teams of 1,224 registered walkers raised more than $126,750! Total participation was estimated at 3,000 walkers, including family and friends of our registrants.

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Amy von Somogyi

We would like Payson companies to also sign up as sponsors or, more importantly, teams. Prescott has their own Light the Night walk and next year we want our own, too.

We have many Paysonites in our community whose lives have been changed by their own, their families, and other friends suffering from cancer. You can walk in memory of someone or in his or her honor.

Jump on the bandwagon with your company and join the fun. It's easy, fun, builds morale, helps millions of people and saves lives. Light the Night will be held on Oct. 15, 2005, at Tempe Town Lake and Park at 6 p.m. Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome.

If you would like to walk with Amy's team, or form your own, call Amy at (928) 472-6268 for more information; contact Desert Mountain States Chapter, 3877 N. 7th St., Suite 300, Phoenix 85014; or visit www.lightthenight.org. Everything is done except letting friends and family know they can make a difference.

Funds raised in Arizona stay in Arizona through our patient services programs, which include the Cancer Clinical Trial Education Series, Meet the Expert on Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Cancer: Keys to Survivorship, First Connection, and local support groups and clinics facilitated by our mentors.

Light the Night has a goal...at least 50 cents of every dollar raised must go directly to our programs. This money is then divided into thirds. Nationally in 2004, 33.7 percent funded nationwide research grants, 36.7 percent funded local patient aid and community service programs, and 29.6 percent funded local public health and community education.

National partners include CompUSA, Burlington Coat Factory, and Verizon Wireless. Major Arizona sponsors include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicos, APS, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Diversified Partners, Univision, Equifirst, and Russ Lyon Realty, among others.

Our mission is to cure leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and to improve the lives of patients and their families.

Payson participant understands challenges of leukemia

Payson resident Amy von Somogyi, 44, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in 2003. After several rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, she is in remission and back at work.

Although she and husband, Zoltan, had health insurance, they are still struggling to make a dent in the medical bills that accumulated.

"Medical expenses keep popping up, and these things cost a fortune," she said. "My insurance covered a lot, but my portion is over a million dollars."

Von Somogyi has always been involved in the community. As a volunteer for the Rim Country Literacy Program, she teaches English as a Second Language.

She was also an advocate for the ducks and geese of Green Valley Park, waging a vigorous campaign to protect them that earned her the nickname "The Duck Lady."

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