The 29th annual Leukemia Ball, held by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), was held at the DC Convention Center tonight...and the nearly 2,000 guests there gathered for a lofty goal to raise - $3.2 million for the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma.
"It's never a good time to get cancer but right now is a phenomenal time to fight it," explained LLS President and CEO Louis DeGennaro.
Money was raised through ticket sales - and a vast silent auction with more than 400 items ranging from sports memorabilia to home decor....along with a raffle of a Mercedes Benz. The money raised will help with research. As of last year there were more than 240 medicines in the development pipeline to treat blood cancers. LLS says drugs save lives and allowed some of the night's attendees to make it to this ball.
"People like me will have a cure finally and people would have to stop going through all that pain," said Vishav Chopra, a young leukemia survivor.
"Tonight is an unbelievable night," said Fox 5 General Manager Patrick Paolini, talking of the goal to raise as much money as possible.
"I was diagnosed with a disease that is very rare so there isn't as much research going on with it so it would be great to fund research for the rare diseases as well," added Lisa Maurer, a lymphoma survivor.
"I'm in partial remission which in CLL is great. Hopefully I will have a long remission and the great thing is new drugs are coming on the market. There have been five or six drugs just since I was diagnosed," diagnosed. says CLL survivor Lynne O'Brien, adding that she is hopeful.
1.2 million Americans are currently living with some form of blood cancer and right now nearly one third of all blood cancer patients don't survive five years past diagnosis. So those in attendance say there's a real push for solutions to improve those numbers.