Hundreds gather in the District to raise money for leukemia research

Saturday night in the District, hundreds of people gathered for an important cause.

The 32nd annual Leukemia Ball was held at the Marriott Marquis in Northwest.

FOX 5 is a sponsor of the event - which is dedicated to raising money for life-saving cancer research and patient programs.

The event's leaders include FOX 5 General Manager Patrick Paolini.

"Blood cancer is something that affects a lot of people. The research money is the key. You have to find the research to find cures for blood cancer. There's so many variations of blood cancers so it just takes a lot of research," Paolini said.

The 2019 Leukemia Ball co-chair, Tom McCarthy, has first-hand experience with the disease in his own family.

"My mother passed away from leukemia 25 years ago. And she passed away from a certain kind of leukemia called CML. The leukemia lymphoma society provided money for a drug that was developed in the late 90's it actually effectively cured her type of leukemia. I really was moved by that and moved by the organizations role in it," McCarthy said.

The annual ball has raised more than $62 million for leukemia research over the last three decades.