NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — You may have noticed the brilliant lanterns snaking their way through downtown Norfolk every fall.
It’s how we light the night in the fight against blood cancers.
Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. 10 On Your Side will be leading the walk this weekend along with a young mother from Norfolk.
“I remember at one point I turned around on a bridge and seeing all of these lights and all of these lanterns,” said Katrina Cherry. “It was just amazing.”
Those lanterns show the way every fall. They represent lives touched by blood cancer, and there’s a face behind each one. For Cherry, giving up was not an option.
Her fight began in December 2015, when she noticed pain in her upper back.
“And then 2 days later I went to Busch Gardens, and I received a call from my emergency room doctor telling me I need to go to my [primary care physician] because I saw something on my X-ray.”
That something turned out to be non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Cherry’s bright smile left her face as she began to recall the uncertainty that took over her mind.
“You know, is this the end? What is non-Hodgkins lymphoma? It was something I never heard of before. Like I would be on those days I had to go to chemotherapy, I would be angry.”
That anger turned to doubt, and then finally, acceptance.
“What is all of this about? Questioning why me? Why do I have to this? Then it went into, you’re going to do this. You’re strong enough to do this. and you’re going to have a story to tell.”
A story anchored by faith and the support of family, which recently grew by one.
“Nine months after I finished chemo, I found out I was pregnant with my, I call him my beautiful surprise.”
Cherry calls Bentley, now 2 years old, her miracle baby, born after she went into remission.
And through it all, Cherry never lost her faith.
“You can get through anything, and especially with God. And I pray that in our lifetime, cancer is crushed.”
Click here to visit Katrina’s fundraising page.
More info on Light the Night