Light the Night

Hundreds marched in Idlewild Park to fight blood cancer Saturday. (09/29/07)

"It was very emotionally draining and we spent literally every waking moment helping Ethan pull through this," Robert Hewitt said.

At age 2 Robert's son, Ethan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, something doctors initially thought was just a cold.
Saturday night, the Hewitt family stood before walkers at Light the Night -- this is the first time the blood cancer awareness walk was held in Reno, and some say it's a message the community needs to hear.

"There's no pediatric oncology in Northern Nevada so children like Ethan they have to leave the state they have to go to either Sacramento, UC Davis or down into the bay area," Robert Hewitt said.

Balloons were filled, each with a light inside, and carried through Idlewild Park. There were red ones for the supporters and white ones for survivors -- people whose lives changed forever.

"I was a very young kid, but once I got it I had to grow up and mature a lot faster than others so yeah it was very difficult," Tori Lomonaco, diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 8, said.

As balloons lit up the night, there was hope a cure is closer, and comfort in a shared experience.

"There's people who are going through it, have gone through it, other moms that are dealing with it... it's nice to know that there's other people out there... like me," Leukemia patient Natalie Roley said.

An organizer said the Reno event raised roughly $59,000.