The annual Light the Night fundraising walk will be held in-person on Nov. 6. Our employees are once again coming together to walk in celebration of those who are fighting cancer. To learn more about how to get involved, visit here.
It Affects Us All
Cancer not only affects the patient; it affects the lives of their loved ones as well. So, whether you're a caregiver to your child or partner, a family member or a loved one, cancer and its treatment are tough on everyone.
Like so many individuals and families, several of our employees have a cancer story. For example, Erika Schimmel-Guiles, director of Planning and Project Management, and Tamara Grabowski, senior legal admin associate, were affected by blood cancer personally.
For Schimmel-Guiles, it was her best friend's father. After being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and receiving a bone marrow transplant, he contracted GVHD (Grapht-Versus-Host Disease). Through his diagnosis, treatment and eventual recovery from the disease, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was there, helping him and his family. Bearing witness to the support LLS brought to her dear friend, she was motivated to get involved with San Diego's local LLS chapter. Since her initial Light the Night over a decade ago, Schimmel-Guiles has been intimately involved in supporting the local nonprofit's mission.
Tamara Grabowski is also no stranger to Light the night. Last year, she helped lead a ten-week fundraising competition among leaders across San Diego to raise funds for LLS in support of the 2020 Virtual Light The Night.
More than two years ago, Tamara's grandson, Cristian, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on his third birthday. Unfortunately, Cristian also has a genetic mutation called Low-Hypodiploid which may make his fight a little more complicated.
The majority of Cristian's first three years were spent at the Children's Hospital in San Diego. Though he will be in treatment for (hopefully) only another year and a half, Cristian entered the maintenance phase of medicine as of March 2020, and to date, he is still in remission.
Cristian's diagnosis and ongoing recovery don't stop his family from living daily to the fullest, making positive memories their highest priority. The family's motto – Cancer is tough, but we are tougher! This will be Tamara and her family's third consecutive year participating in Light the Night as Team Cristian.
Teaming Up to Beat Cancer
Grabowski's journey, like Schimmel-Guiles', was positively impacted by LLS. Together, they continue to lead the charge for Team SDG&E/Sempra's Light The Night fundraising efforts among hundreds of employees across the company that join together year after year to support LLS.
Since 2010, Team SDG&E/Sempra has raised over $1.3 Million to fund research, treatments, and support services that improve the quality of life for patients and families battling Leukemia and Lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma.
For many years, Team Sempra/SDG&E has designated its annual fundraising efforts to the LLS Children's Initiative. A vital component is supporting cutting-edge research to accelerate the most impactful pediatric cancer science worldwide. LLS has committed to more than doubling its funding of research grants to find safer and more effective therapies for children, teens and young adults with blood cancers.
Currently, LLS is funding approximately 30 research projects focused explicitly on childhood blood cancers.
Light the Night In-Person Event
Location: San Diego - Waterfront Park
Schedule of Events: 5 pm – Festival Activities Begin; 7:30 pm – Opening Ceremony Begins; Walk Begins (immediately after Opening Ceremony).
In addition to the in-person event offering, San Diego Light The Night will also take place virtually on Nov. 10 at 6-7 pm.