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Lighting the night with hope

(Source: Kate Thornton)

White, red and gold balloons illuminated the sky Tuesday night.

They symbolized survivors, loved ones and those who've lost their lives to leukemia and lymphoma. 

Four-year-old Destiny Parisot isn't a leukemia survivor just yet, but she could be seen gripping her white survivor balloon tight with hope.

"She's at the tail end of her treatment right now, and we just really want to do things to raise money to continue to find the cure and help other people that are in the same journey we've been on," said Destiny's mother Andrea Parisot.

Destiny and her parents are hopeful she'll be in remission by next summer.

Destiny's story is one the Salomons' are familiar with. 

Fourteen-year-old Eric Salomons was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just four years old too, and probably wouldn't be here today without a bone marrow transplant. 

His identical twin brother, Brian, was his donor. 

Now, ten years later, Eric is cancer free and hasn't missed a single Light the Night Walk since it started in 2004.

"I feel really proud that I survived it.  Some people aren't as fortunate, but at least I'm alive," said Eric Salomons.

"Every year we come here, and we always remember how hard it was, and what happened so we're fortunate," said Brian Salomons.

"He's alive and he's doing well.  Organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are continuing to do great work to make treatment and after effect even better, and the survival rate even better," said Eric and Brian's mother Linda Salomons.

The boys had the backing of their Vestal JV soccer team at Light the Night.

Other teams could be found too, like "Team Sam I Am".

"That's for the doctor we work with, Doctor Steven Melkin.  He had lymphoma last year, and he's doing really good now.  So we did it in honor of him last year, and we're doing it in honor of him this year," said Cyndi Tedeschi.

With each step they take, survivors and loved ones of leukemia and lymphoma will always continue to walk for a cure for cancer.




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