The Leukaemia Foundation's annual Light the Night lantern ceremony has attracted record numbers of sign-ups in its launch week.
For the first time, Port Macquarie-Hastings residents impacted by blood cancer will be able to sign up to host aLight the Night ... at home,with families in every corner of the country expected to light up the night skies from their own backyards, lounge rooms and hospital wards.
Already, more than 650 families from across Australia have signed up to be part of the event on Saturday, October 10 raising an astonishing $60,000. That's the highest number of registrations and funds raised, this early in the campaign, in nearly a decade.
As the new, reimagined event rises to meet the challenges bought by COVID-19 the Leukaemia Foundation is hoping more Port Macquarie-Hastings residents than ever will come together, while staying safely apart to Light the Night, in a whole new way.
Registrations are already lighting up a new, interactive map showing lanterns from families all over the country as the Leukaemia Foundation finds a unique new way of uniting Australia's blood cancer community by harnessing the latest IT platforms and interactive tools.
For 13 years, Light the Night has been the only Australian event that brings the country's entire blood cancer community together including blood cancer patients, their families, carers and friends and members of the medical and research communities to stand united in support for each other, and in support of a future free of blood cancer.
"Now that we can all Light the Night - at home... we are thrilled that more people than ever before will be able to participate from the comfort of their chosen location and be part of this shared moment of hope and unity," Ms Lance said.
"It will be one national moment for the blood cancer community to come together - regardless of where you live, or your stage of treatment. How families choose to Light the Night is limited only by their imaginations.
"A family dinner party, a sunset barbecue with close friends, a twilight picnic in the backyard or bedside in hospital with a loved one... it's up to you."
On the night, Australians are invited to light the three coloured lanterns that symbolise the different ways blood cancer has touched their life:
- White ... in honor of your own blood cancer journey.
- Gold ... in memory of a loved one lost to blood cancer.
- Blue ... to show your support for someone facing blood cancer.
On Saturday, October 10 at 8pm local time, registered participants will be able to stream the official ceremony from lightthenight.org.au or via YouTube as well as explore a glowing map of Australia that will feature thousands of Instagram posts from across the country through the hashtag #LightTheNightAU.
Those hosting the night for their loved ones will need to register their personal event and invite their friends and family to join them by signing up. They can then share their blood cancer stories via their personal fundraising page and fundraise $100 each to receive an official lantern to light on the night.
About blood cancer in Australia
- Blood cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia. it does not discriminate and can develop in anyone, occur at any age and at any stage of life.
- More than 110,000 people are living with blood cancer in Australia today.
- Every year, more than 15,000 Australians will be newly diagnosed with blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. This is equivalent to 41 people every day or one person every 36 minutes.
- Blood cancer is the most commonly diagnosed childhood cancer.
- Blood cancer is on the rise. Over the past 10 years, incidence of blood cancer has increased by approximately 30%.