Nathan will Light the Night
Friday, 3rd September, 2010
A local teenage blood cancer survivor is among the "balloon ambassadors" named for the Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night at Sturt Park.
Nathan Stacey, who was aged 14 when he was diagnosed with acute lymphocyctic leukaemia, joins Nick and Sherri Kuerschner and Katie Maxwell for the event tomorrow night.
The ambassadors are hoping local skies will be awash with gold, white and blue especially lit balloons to remember, celebrate and give hope to people with blood cancer.
Money raised from the event will fund much needed research into better treatments and cures and fund free Leukaemia Foundation support services to patients and their families. The services include free accommodation, transport, emotional support, financial assistance and education.
Nick and Sherri Kuerschner are joint Gold Balloon Ambassadors, Nathan is a White Balloon Ambassador and Katie Maxwell is the Blue Balloon Ambassador.
All three have been affected by a blood cancer diagnosis and have experienced the upheaval often felt by rural families who have to relocate to Adelaide for treatment.
Nick and Sherri lost their nine-year-old son William to leukaemia in December last year after lengthy treatment in Adelaide.
Broken Hill High School student Nathan will be carrying a white balloon with his friends to celebrate his survival.
Mrs Maxwell lost both her mother and sister to blood cancer and is a long time supporter of the Leukaemia Foundation.
Light the Night raised more than $1.2 million last year across Australia.
It is hoped that about 500 locals will take part in what Ms Maxwell describes as an inspiring and uplifting night, helping to raise $35,000.
The fundraiser which is being hosted by "Friends of Leukaemia".
"I would love to see a big response from the local community," said Ms Maxwell.
"It will go ahead whether its rain, hail or shine," she said.
Anyone is welcome to come and show their support. They don't have to know anybody who has suffered from a blood cancer.
"Come along and make a donation, even if you haven't registered or got a team together," she said.
"Be part of the experience."
Mrs Maxwell said Friends of Leukaemia would love to raise "$1 per person in Broken Hill" but "any amount that will go towards the village in Adelaide" will be fantastic.
The money will go towards a village being built in Adelaide for country and regional patients.
This village will be like a "home away from home" according to Mrs Maxwell, who praised locals for their support so far.
"People have been extremely generous, the support gained from the community has been overwhelming," she said.
"I urge everyone to come along and carry a balloon ... if it is cold we will rug up, nothing can compare to what cancer patients endure with their treatment and their journey."
A barbecue, drinks, chips and coffees will be available as well as a merry-go-round.
Registration opens at 5.30pm and the official opening is at 6pm. For more information or to register visit www.lightthenight.org.au.