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Saint Mary’s to host Light the Night walk

Alicia Smith | Thursday, October 2, 2008

At the Light the Night walk tonight, several members of the Saint Mary’s College community will be walking for “Team Kathy.”

“Team Kathy” walks in honor of Saint Mary’s sophomore Kathy Chlebda. Chlebda was diagnosed with lymphoma in August 2006. In January 2008, she relapsed and is still recovering from treatments.

“I am so flattered to hear that people are walking for my team,” Chlebda said. “I really can’t describe how great it’s been to know that Saint Mary’s is totally behind me.”

Saint Mary’s senior Sarah King plans to participate in the event by walking for “Team Kathy.”

“I was so inspired by her story that I decided to have my [residence hall] section join up on her team,” King said. “I was blown away by the experience. Now that Kathy has had to go through this fight for a second time, it just seems even more necessary to take part in Light the Night in her honor.”

Light the Night, an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, takes place tonight at 7 p.m.

This is the second year Light the Night will be held at Saint Mary’s, but the walk first took place in 1998, said Katie Walters, the Light the Night Campaign Coordinator of Northwest Indiana and South Bend.

“Light the Night got started because it was aware that more needed to be done to raise money for cancer research and that those affected by cancer wanted to do something to give back and help others,” she said. Walters said she expects 600 people to attend Light the Night this year.

Carrie Call, director of the Office for Civil and Social Engagement at Saint Mary’s, said during the walk people carry illuminated balloons.

“Those who are supporters carry red balloons, survivors of cancer carry white and some walkers carry gold balloons in memory of one who has died,” Call said.

Light the Night has raised $1.2 million in the past 10 years.

“The proceeds go toward blood cancer research, patient services and education,” Walters said. “We have family support groups, financial aid, and educational workshops for patients and their caregivers,” said Walters.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. on the Le Mans Green.