Walk to fight blood cancers

                  Walk to fight blood cancers

I never dared to walk in the Boston Common across from my school at night, but tonight I did, taking an unexpectedly longest walk around and inside the spacious park.

Around 7:50 p.m., I stepped out of my school quickly with the hope that I could catch the train at 8 p.m. But I stopped immediately after looking across the street where so many people were walking in the seemingly endless lines with big, red balloons in their hands. A lot of passers-by in front of my school also stopped watching their walk.

People are walking by my school. Photo by Chau Mai

“Why are there so many people?”

“Why are they all holding red balloons?”

Before finding the answers, I pulled my camera out of my bag and took as many photos as I could with a fear that the lines might end. The best way to satisfy my curiosity was to ask the walkers. I crossed the street in front of my school and walked close to them.

“Hey, why do you guys hold red balloons?”

“We’re walking for blood cancer patients.”

“I see. Can I join?”

“Why not?”

I almost forgot that I needed to fill my stomach as soon as I can. I almost forgot that tonight is colder and my three layers of clothing weren’t enough to keep me warm.

Walking along the two girls for a while, I sped up, trying to have a better sense of the meaning of the walk because I felt shameful that I was ignorant of this big event though I know that October is a cancer awareness month.

People are approaching the FINISH line inside the Boston Common Park. Photo by Chau Mai

I kept strolling with people and noticed that many took their families and their pets to the streets. There were several walkers carrying white balloons and gold balloons. I asked one walker and learned that illuminated white balloons for cancer survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

“We make it,” – a guy next to me talked aloud to his group.

I saw the word “FINISH” from a far. The word “START” must have been right behind it, I thought. And I wasn’t wrong. That made me assume people took the walk from inside to outside the park.

Photo by Chau Mai.

Behind the FINISH line was a lot of stand selling bottled water, snacks and other from pharmaceutical companies. Besides the noisy chatters among walkers, I heard the music from a-not-too-far stage which sat next to a big screen showing the passing walk. On its tops was the name of the organization, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which holds the event “Light the Night Walk” in over 200 North American communities.

Photo by Chau Mai

According to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Light The five-kilometer Night Walk is a national fundraiser, funding lifesaving research and support for people battling cancer. Friends, families and co-workers form fundraising teams and millions of consumers help by donating at retail outlets. These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening walks throughout the United States and Canada every fall.

In front of the stage. Photo by a walker.

This shepherd dog also joins his Master to the walk. He wears an illuminated green rod. Photo by Chau Mai

I left the crowd around 8:20 p.m., taking a long walk to the T station. On my way, I had a chance to see the illuminated State House standing magnificently like a royal palace.

Massachusetts State House at night. Photo by Chau Mai

The first time walking around the Boston Common at night, looking at the surrounding buildings, I found that the beauty of Boston also extends through the night. I wished I had have a professional camera to capture its beauty.

Many parts of the park looked quiet but were well-lit. Photo by Chau Mai

It took me about 10 minutes to walk to the T station and when I came, the train was approaching. This meant tonight, no train missed, no bus missed, no cab ride and no $5 like last night.

(Boston Common, 10/11/2012)


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