They carried illuminated balloons down Mass. Street by the hundreds. Red in support of cancer patients, blue for those who had survived it, and gold for those who had lost someone to cancer.
The eighth annual Light the Night Walk, held Saturday night, was a chance to raise awareness and raise funds for cancer research and treatment.
Domenico Idoni drove 18 hours from Baltimore to support of Rod Barnes, a local physician battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
“I think so much of him. I refer to him as my guardian angel,” Idoni said.
Idoni had been a patient of Barnes for 20 years, traveling from Maryland to Lawrence for treatments. He and his wife also came to town years ago so Barnes could deliver two of their children.
“It’s a thrill to be here and be a part of this,” Idoni said.
The walk began with food and festivities at Watson Park, Sixth and Kentucky streets. There were hot dogs and inflatable games for children.
Others wearing “Team Barnes” T-shirts also peppered the crowd. Cathy Rosebaugh, a patient of Barnes, said she was happy to see him get so much support.
For Barnes, the walk was an opportunity to thank those who had supported him through his treatment and who were raising money for research.
“I am grateful to be here. To go from a physician to a patient has been a maturing experience,” Barnes said.