Nova Scotia

Haligonians 'Light the Night' for cancer

Hundreds of walkers for Atlantic Canada's first 'Light the Night' walked in downtown Halifax in support of leukemia and lymphoma.

Hundreds of walkers for Atlantic Canada's first 'Light the Night' walked in downtown Halifax Saturday night in support of leukemia and lymphoma.

According to several people on Twitter, the walk raised at least $250,000, more than any first-time Canadian city's 'Light the Night' walk.

Organizers haven't yet confirmed that number.

The funds raised will go to blood cancer research, free educational materials and events for patients and their families and peer-to-peer counselling programs.

Francesca Nardi, 16, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma nine months ago.

"It was awful for sure and it was definitely hard news for my family to get as well," Nardi said.

She went through chemotherapy and her prognosis is good. She's now healthy and considered cancer-free.

"I couldn't think of any better way to give back to the doctors and nurses and researchers and all of these people who made sure that I had such a good prognosis."

Cynthia Lank is Nardi's mother and one of the 50 people who was on her walking team for the event.

"At a time too when you just want to curl up in a ball, you have this incredible child who is just living every day and taking the information that she needs," Lank told CBC News.

Leslie Crowell helped organize the walk along with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She lost her father to leukemia in January, but she takes comfort from news of new treatments.

"It's too late for our family, and just hearing that news made me so hopeful because I think with fundraising dollars, that's what it's going to take to get that treatment to the general public," Crowell said.

On the 'Light the Night' Facebook group, participants were eager to share their experience.

"My daughter and I walked last night in memory of my brother-in-law and her Uncle Steven. What a great outcome. Lots of participants and great weather," wrote Denise Campbell Martell.

"It was also very pretty with all the pretty balloons," she added.

"It was a beautiful sight seeing all the lit balloons," wrote Darlene Markee Davis. "I was walking for my Mom who was diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes) this year. It was wonderful to see her doctor and the nurses ... out walking with their patients and family members."

On Twitter, David Fleming tweeted "Huge turnout and a ton of money raised for a great cause."

Benjamin Boudreau tweeted "What a wonderful show of community."

More than 600 people participated in the walk.