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In September 2006 my best friend Brandy was diagnosed with Leukemia. I had heard of the cancer before, but didn’t know much about it. After a year of chemotherapy and other treatments, Brandy was officially in remission August 2007. But in November, her tests showed that she has relapsed, and she went back to the hospital for another round of treatment. They talked about a bone marrow transplant this time, with only a 30% chance of taking effect. The first rounds of chemo damaged her liver, so they did a biopsy on her liver to see what shape it was in. While putting the needle for the biopsy, an artery was nicked and Brandy started internally bleeding. Brandy died the next day, November 28, 2007.
Just a few weeks before Brandy passed away, she walked proudly with a white balloon as a survivor in the Light The Night walk. Light The Night is a fundraising walk put on by the Leukemia and Lymphoma of Canada. People carry illuminated balloons on a 5 km walk in support of research and patient care for those affected by blood cancers. Red for supporters, gold for walking in memory and white for survivors.
For the next few years, Brandy’s family and friends and I walked in her memory. Then in 2011 I started working with the Society as the Light The Night Campaign Manager. When I first started, I naively thought I would be putting on an event. But the lessons I have learned, the people I have met and the stories I have heard have forever changed me.
I miss Brandy every single day, and I hope she knows she is loved and missed and that there are amazing people that are working hard to make sure that blood cancer will soon be a thing of the past.
by Lisa B.
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