To the editor:
On behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, thank you to the generous people of the Ohio Valley for helping make the 13th-annual Ohio Valley Light the Night Walk a success. The walk was held April 17 at Wheeling Jesuit University. There were nearly 670 registered walkers (almost double from last year), 47 teams and we raised nearly $53,000 for blood cancer research and local patient and family support programs.
The society's mission is to support research projects and clinical trials and provide local patients and families financial aid and co-pay assistance, free of charge. Last year, the LLS supported research in the U.S., Canada and seven other countries with a total disbursement of approximately $68.4 million. In 2012, 30,603 patients received patient financial aid (204 were from West Virginia) and 13,971 patients received LLS co-pay assistance. These funds allowed 1,205 family support groups to help 12,113 patients - our local family support group meets monthly at Wheeling Hospital on the second Wednesday of every month. All funds raised at the walk directly support these missions.
Wheeling Hospital's support of the walk proved invaluable. CEO Ron Violi served as the walk chair. Wheeling Hospital contributed 17 teams and raised more than $13,000 for the walk.
We also had the help of great sponsors, including Altmeyer Funeral Home; BathFitter; Belmont Savings Bank; Carenbauer Wholesale Corp.; Chapman Co.; Christian Fellowship Foundation; Coleman's Fish Market; Cumberland Pointe Care Center; Dave and Judy Nemeti; Daveco Landscaping; Dr. David Bowman; DiCarlo's Pizza; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston; Donald Lough Jr.; Dr. Philip High; First Choice America Credit Union; Harris Real Estate Co.; Highmark Blue Cross-Blue Shield West Virginia; Interim Healthcare; Iron Workers Local Union 549; Kepner Funeral Homes; MedExpress; Ohio Valley Community Credit Union; Ohio Valley Mall; Our Lady of Peace School; Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration; Progressive Bank; Riesbeck's Food Markets; Select Home Support, Stantec Consulting; Stratuswave Communications; Warwood Armature Repair Co.; Wells Fargo Insurance Services of West Virginia; WesBanco; Wheeling Island Gaming; and Ye Olde Alpha.
Special thanks to Casa di Vino; Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley; Comcast; Coca-Cola; Dominos Pizza; Eat 'n Park; Figaretti's; Fox Ohio Valley; WYJK-FM and WUKL-FM; Jazzercise; Jebbia's; Kohl's A-Team; Marquee Cinemas; Panera Bread; Pepsi; Sheetz; the Linsly School; Wheeling Fire Department; Wheeling Jesuit University; WJU Student Government Association; Wheeling Nailers "Spike;" and WTRF-TV.
Thanks to our photographers, Kathy Howell and Jim Amato; our patient hero, Sandy Milovac; and the volunteers who helped set up, tear down and made sure the event ran smoothly. We also thank The Times Leader, the Herald-Star and the Intelligencer for their coverage.
Finally, thanks to committee members Kelly Amato, Valerie Fabbro and Jodi Zusack, who helped with planning, advertising, securing sponsors, forming teams and logistics. Their hard work and dedication to the cause was unsurpassed.
Thank you, Ohio Valley, for helping us further our mission: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of local patients and their families. Together, we are all "champions for a cure."
Shaunna Dunder Hershberger
Light the Night Walk
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society Western Pa. and W.Va. Chapter