After six years, Neon Night is within arm’s reach of half a million dollars raised for childhood cancer research. This year’s event was held on Saturday, September 21, and managed to raise another $100,700 for the Canadian Cancer Society, bringing the six-year total to more than $450,000.

Canadian Cancer Society Fundraising Specialist, Christina Thompson, was on stage with the Neon Night Committee to announce the total after more than 850 participants registered for this year’s event.

Of those 850 registrants, 18 child warriors were at the event to be knighted and recognized for their bravery during cancer treatments. “It shows that the word is getting out about the event,” said Christina. “It’s the largest number of warriors we’ve had on stage during the knighting ceremony.

“The support of neighbours and businesses in the area continues to prove that this community is a force-for-life in the face of childhood cancer. It’s truly inspiring to see how much people rally behind these amazing families going through all stages of a cancer diagnosis. It’s because of events like Neon that the Canadian Cancer Society can fund new pediatric research projects and clinical trials.”

In 2018, CCS invested $4.05 million in Canadian research projects related to many aspects of childhood cancer. One project that CCS researchers are working on relates to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer diagnosed in children. Current treatments have led to relatively high survival rates, but are still linked to severe and long-term side effects. With the support of an Innovation Grant, Dr Trang Hoang studied the cells that drive the growth of a type of ALL and resist treatment. She will now search among thousands of potential drugs for ones that will kill these cells and cut off ALL at its roots. This could lead to new and improved treatments for childhood leukemia.

The Neon Night Committee would also like to thank all the volunteers who came out on the day of the event to help out, as well as in the lead-up to Neon Night. The committee is looking forward to starting to work on next year’s event and can confirm it will be on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at Riverside Park in Kemptville.

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