Cou­ple pre­pares to light night at event

South Western Times - - News -

Bun­bury cou­ple Leigh and Re­gan Smithies’ lives were plunged into dark­ness after a rou­tine eye test turned into a life-chang­ing di­ag­no­sis.

Mr Smithies’ reti­nal scan re­vealed small heam­or­rhages, with sug­ges­tions it may be linked to di­a­betes or high blood pres­sure.

Never did they ex­pect to hear the words “blood can­cer”.

Two and a half years on, Mr Smithies con­tin­ues to bat­tle Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia – once a ter­mi­nal di­ag­no­sis, which can now be man­aged through on­go­ing treat­ment.

The Smithies are pre­par­ing to join hun­dreds of oth­ers on Oc­to­ber 5, as a sea of gold, white and blue lanterns fill the sky at the Bun­bury and District Power Boat Club for the 11th an­nual Leaukaemia Foun­da­tion Light the Night event.

“When we learnt that there is no gov­ern­ment fund­ing, it made sup­port­ing the foun­da­tion all the more im­por­tant as with­out the re­search be­ing done, Re­gan’s jour­ney would have been very dif­fer­ent,” Mrs Smithies said. Gold lanterns will sym­bol­ise re­mem­brance of a lost loved one, blue will show sup­port and white sig­ni­fies the car­rier’s own blood can­cer jour­ney.

Mrs Smithies said par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event would help fund on­go­ing re­search, “which will hope­fully one day bring a cure in­stead of just sur­viv­ing”.

As well as rais­ing vi­tal money, the show of sup­port was “over­whelm­ing”.

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Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

Leigh Smithies raises a white lantern on be­half of her hus­band Re­gan ahead of the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion’s 11th an­nual Light the Night event.

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