Serving Others

 

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James

 

This week I participated in Light the Night, a walk in support of curing cancer specifically blood cancers. Being my first time at Light the Night, I did not know what to expect. I went with Phi Sigma Pi as part of our service event. The walk was in Pittsburgh starting at Heinz field and continuing for a mile and a half around the block. Extensive fundraising was done in preparation of the event in order to earn balloons. Red balloons were given for every $25 earned and yellow ones for every $1000. White balloons were given out to anyone currently fighting cancer, and gold balloons were given out to those walking in remembrance of someone who lost their battle with cancer.

My grandma is a survivor of cancer, so I felt particularly driven toward this cause. I was delighted to see the large number of companies that donated to the event including the local sports teams. Eat N’ Park was handing out their smiley cookies which you could decorate, so our group quickly jumped in line. We saw a family with two young children join the line shortly after and decided to let them cut in front of us. After they did, I noticed that they all had matching shirts in remembrance of their father who recently lost his battle with cancer. The boy and girl couldn’t have been older than six or seven. It was hard to look around at all the families who had lost someone without feeling sympathy. It is hard for me to imagine growing up without my father.

I felt sorry for the families that had lost someone. It made me wish that I could do more for them. Before the walk began, there was a meeting where they showed a video of past years, remembering those lost, and thanking the biggest fundraisers. One of the keynote speakers was Aaron Smith, defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His son is currently battling leukemia, so he wanted to thank everyone for coming and supporting the search for a cure. He said how it made him feel like he wasn’t alone and reminded everyone that they did not have to go through the fight alone. Watching the hundreds of balloons light up the sky was a symbol of all those who are fighting for a cure, not only those with cancer, but their family, friends, and loved ones. It is something that I hope to continue to participate and help with for years to come.

-Chris Kite-

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