Mike Livorsi was diagnosed with a rare form Leukemia in February 2010.
It is called Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia and affects 1500-2000 Americans a year. A few months after Livorsi, a Montgomery resident, was diagnosed another local woman was found to have it as well.
“Barely 25 years ago, this type of leukemia had a 100 percent mortality rate,” said Livorsi. “Doctors did not know how to treat it. Today, the success rate is 80-90 percent, and that is because of research to help cancer patients.”
Livorsi himself is a survivor of Leukemia, and credits it to the research and advancement in medicine. That’s why he’ll be participating once more in the annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s "Light the Night" Walk.
The walk is on October 20 at Berens Park in Elmhurst, Ill. and is a way to raise awareness and funding for Leukemia as well as remember those that have fought and give hope to those still fighting.
Livorsi said each participant gets a different colored helium-filled balloon – red, gold or white – that will have a light blinking inside. Red, he explained, are for supporters, white for survivors and gold for those walking in the memory someone they’ve lost.
“When it gets full dark and you see the line of lighted up balloons, it’s an awe inspiring feeling,” said Livorsi.
In order to raise funds for the walk, Livoris’s team, called Livorsi’s Leukemia Stompers, will be hosting a fundraiser during the Chicago Bears season opener on Sunday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
The event will be held at Open Range, 1 Golf View Lane in Sugar Grove, and will include food, raffle, prizes and more. Livorsi said the suggested donation is $10.
Since the event is for the Bears game, many of the raffle prizes will be Bears merchandise and autographs, although there will be other items as well. Livorsi said the group would greatly appreciate donations from local businesses, and anyone interested can email him at: CancerFighter1979@yahoo.com.
“It’s been a very bad year for everyone,” said Livorsi of fundraising. Their team goal is $7500 but they have yet to break $1000. Even the team numbers are down, with over 120 participating in 2011 and just over 50 registered for 2012.
“We’re really hoping to reach our goal,” said Livorsi. “We’re walking to save lives.”