Light the way for leukaemia

The Riverine Herald - - MONDAY CONVERSATION - By So­phie Bald­win

LANTERNS stretched the length of the Echuca-Moama bridge as a sign of hope and com­mu­nity sup­port when the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion’s Light the Night fundraiser came to town in Oc­to­ber.

Event or­gan­iser Bill Ku­luris said more than 170 peo­ple at­tended and raised more than $11,500 for the foun­da­tion.

‘‘We were very happy with the night and it was such a great sight to see lanterns fill the whole length of the bridge,’’ Bill said.

A gold lantern re­mem­bers lost loved ones, a white lantern is car­ried by those di­ag­nosed with leukaemia while blue lanterns are held by com­mu­nity mem­bers.

Bill’s world was turned up­side-down last year, when he was di­ag­nosed with lym­pho­cytic leukaemia — a form of blood can­cer com­mon in peo­ple over 60. He is just 48.

He de­cided to or­gan­ise the fundraiser to give back to the foun­da­tion that helped him and his fam­ily since his di­ag­no­sis and to show other suf­fer­ers in the area they are not alone.

‘‘We are hop­ing to make this an an­nual event and there will be a few tweaks to the pro­gram for next year,’’ he said.

Nan­neella’s Kerry Gib­son was di­ag­nosed with myeloma six years ago.

She was part of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee be­cause she too has found the sup­port of­fered to her through the foun­da­tion to be ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial.

‘‘The Leukaemia Foun­da­tion sup­ports fam­i­lies and re­search,’’ she said.

‘‘The de­vel­op­ment of drugs and treat­ment world­wide is as­tound­ing. I just felt that it was im­por­tant for me to give back in any lit­tle way I can.’’

Bill, Belinda, Katie and Made­line Ku­luris.

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