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Taking steps toward fighting leukemia

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September 22, 2006

Albany -- More than a thousand people took steps together tonight toward a cure for blood and bone marrow cancer. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosted its third annual "Light the Night" walk through downtown Albany to fund lifesaving cancer research.

One young woman overcame both cancers. Now, she's fighting for another reason.

Beverly Massey came to walk because for two years she was often hospitalized, undergoing chemotherapy, and under the close watch of a doctor as she battled leukemia.

No easy task for a teenager who never expected that kind of life.

"I'm kinda weird because I enjoyed school, and I wasn't able to go to school. I wasn't able to be at home with my friends and my family. I would be so far away from home," said Beverly Massey.

The 19-year-old nursing student is healthy today, after a bone marrow transplant in 2005.

Others have walked in Massey's shoes too. The Light the Night walk raises awareness of leukemia, and money to battle the disease.

"Our mother is a cancer survivor, this is very important and touching to us. We know she has to count her blessings, and we count the blessings for her too," said Judy Roland.

Blessings that the Leukemia and Lymphoma society want others with cancer to be able to celebrate too.

"It's important to hold it to come out here as a community to rally around those who are living with, survived, and have lost the fight with cancer. We're here to make a difference in their lives," said walk organizer Ali Dunn.

Making a difference for someone else is what survivor Beverly Massey walks for.

"I'm finally here, and I'm really glad that I'm here," said Massey.

She's been too sick in the past to walk, but thankful now she can help others. As survivors and supporters take steps together toward a cure.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosts four other "Light the Night" walks statewide.

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