Join In Bringing Light to the Darkness of Cancer

Light The Night Walk will take place at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno on Saturday, November 2. PHOTO COURTESY OF LIGHTTHENIGHT.ORG

On Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk will take place at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno. 

The event will help raise funds and awareness for cancer prevention and research. It also exists to find cures and ensure access to the best available treatments for all blood cancer patients. 

Clovis community members can take part in the event and they can help raise funds as well through many different fundraising groups around the city, including Central Valley Community Bank. 

Join their walk team by registering on the website

CVCB’s Rod Geist is leading the effort after battling cancer first hand. Here is his story: 

“It was late on a Tuesday afternoon when my doctor called with the results of the final blood test. I had been in the hospital a few weeks earlier and the ER doctors discovered a significantly elevated white blood cell count. Since then, my family doctor was running tests, trying to find an explanation for my trip to the ER. This phone call was supposed to provide some answers. His response was not what I was hoping for.

The first thing my doctor did was ask if I had something to write with and then he proceeded to give me a phone number, for an oncologist. He really didn’t need to say anything else. I knew what the results of the test indicated. My white count had increased again and for the first time I tested positive for some additional markers for the disease. I had leukemia.

My first thought was, ‘I now know how I am going to die.’ I was shocked, confused, and terrified.  I wept. I cried like a baby while my wife held me in her arms, and I felt like life was flowing out of me with every tear.

I was diagnosed Ph+ Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. The oncologist, my new best friend, informed me that I was fortunate; the disease had been diagnosed early. I was asymptomatic and with treatment it would probably stay that way. “Chronic” meant I would live with leukemia for the rest of my life. I would most likely die with leukemia, not from it.

After I was diagnosed and treatment had begun, I discovered that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had made significant financial contributions to the research that ultimately led to the first targeted therapy for my blood cancer.  

Before this significant breakthrough, patients with CML had a very short life expectancy and the only treatment with any degree of success was a bone marrow transplant. Because of this discovery, and the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, today a few pills a day keeps me in complete remission and able to live my life the way I always have before being diagnosed with the disease.”