GREENSBORO, N.C. — It is an amazing sight! Bright lanterns filling the night sky as cancer fighters, survivors, and family members of those we've lost, join together to "Light the Night!"
The Triad tradition is changing this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the light shines on for one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's youngest survivors.
Eight-year-old Hannah Kloesz said her two year battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia started with a piercing pain in her hip and a sore throat.
"I was in a lot of pain, I couldn't swallow. I felt nervous because I didn't know what was going to happen because I was very young," Hannah said.
Hannah was 6-years-old when she first heard the word cancer.
"It was a nightmare. The world stopped," said Hannah's mother Nicole Kloesz. "As a parent, the power was taken out of our hands to protect our child."
A bone marrow biopsy revealed Hannah's diagnosis and she immediately began treatment at Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem.
"The first 10 to 11 months are so intense as far as the number of procedures and when we say procedures, we're talking about anesthesia being involved," said Kloesz.
Hannah is now in her third year of chemotherapy with treatments in the hospital and at home.
"Whether it’s a pill form or a liquid form or something that has to get injected into her spine," described Hannah's mom. It is in these moments when Hannah feels her worst.
"Sometimes, I feel sad during treatment because it makes me feel very tired, and sometimes, I want to lie down."
Always a fighter, Hannah gets back up as she battles to ring the survivor bell one day before her birthday, next July.
"I will probably ring it very hard because I will be super happy," said Hannah. "It will mean so much because I won’t have cancer anymore!"
This Saturday, October 3, Hannah will share her story at the Triad LLS Light the Night event which raises money for cancer research to help other families, fight!
"LLS has helped us so much. How could we not support that," said Kloesz. "That is an easy one to say yes to so let’s team up and raise awareness and bring some good."
There's still time for you to get involved and do some good! The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Triad Light the Night is set for this Saturday, October 3rd.
Register here so you can participate in the virtual lantern ceremony and share your story.