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Avera Medical Minute: Light the Night virtual event supports Leukemia, Lymphoma patients

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A special night is being planned Thursday, October 1st, to support those in the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma. The annual Light the Night event.

For decades, Dr. Vinod Parameswaran has championed for his patients fighting Leukemia and Lymphoma, cancers of the white blood cells or the immune system.

“Twenty-five years ago and I was in training I mean these some of these patients would not have survived more than 2, 3, 4 years or even less,” said Dr. Parameswaran.

Thanks to more treatment options, there is hope.

“We have so many ways in which we can enhance the quality of life and, and then the feeling of hope for all these patients and let them know that it’s not necessarily the end of everything,” said Parameswaran.

The funding of research, resulting in more options has come primarily from one source.

“Thank you to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society for being available for our patients,” said Parameswaran.

On Thursday, survivors, patients, and their loved ones will be part of “Light the Night,” a virtual gathering for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Those who carry gold lanterns are fighting now, red is for those supporting a loved one, and white lanterns are carried by survivors. Kris Gaster is the Avera Assistant VP of Outpatient Cancer Clinics.

“Cancer did not stop because of COVID. And so that whole process of engaging patients in a patient walk and doing the virtual event this year is so important because patients and loved ones really do need that support,” said Gaster.

The event supports those in the battle and raises funding for the society.

“So from the convenience of your own home, you can participate in this great event, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has taken a lot of effort to really make this event special even though we can’t physically gather,” said Gaster.

Today, there is more hope than ever for a patient diagnosed with Leukemia and Lymphoma.

“There are new therapies coming every month, actually, that can really make a difference for an individual, and what a great message of hope for those who are in that journey and in that battle,” said Gaster.

And Dr. Parameswaran sees the benefits of the funding of research to fight cancer.

I"m glad we came into the field when I did because I’ve experienced what you know what couldn’t be done and the frustrations associated with that. And what’s available," said Parameswaran.

“And so this is our opportunity to really reach out to those individuals, and tell them we’re here for you. We support you. And we’re, we’re here to support the journey and those of those organizations that can make a difference in the battle against cancer,” said Gaster.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also assists patients with travel and housing expenses and provides medical information in multiple languages.

https://www.lightthenight.org/events/sioux-falls

Light the Night Thursday, October 1st.

7:00 PM – 7:15 PM Welcome & Festival Experiences

7:15 PM – 7:30 PM Light The Night’s Ceremony

7:30 PM – 7:40 PM Walk & Raise Your Lantern

7:40 PM – 8:00 PM Social Celebration & Light The Night’s Firework Celebration

The Event Night Experience Guide has more resources as well.

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