Left Hand raises awareness for lymphoma and leukemia

Hundreds gathered at Longmont’s Roosevelt Park to raise money and show appreciation for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The day also highlighted 10-year-old leukemia survivor Quade Marks. Left Hand Brewing Co. hosted the event that generated immense support for the society. Craft beers and a tribute band also showcased this year’s Leftapalooza party.

Left hand

Leftapalooza prides itself on being a “rain or shine event” but had to shut down for lightning warnings. Ashley Vander Meeden, Leftapalooza’s media manager, had her volunteers pack up the merchandise booth. Photos by Ali Watkins 

Leftapalooza joined other fundraisers in the LLS campaign series “Light the Night.” The campaigns aim to raise funds for blood cancer research.

An enthusiastic Marks made it clear that all the support is worthwhile and necessary.

“Last year on April 15 I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. In total I spent 161 nights in the hospital, I had four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. I received 27 red cell transfusions and 44 platelet transfusions,” Marks said during his
speech. “Today I am 11 months cancer-free.”

The crowd reacted with a roar of cheers and applause.

During his stay in the hospital, Marks made the decision to start fundraising for Light the Night. In his speech, he mentioned how he had asked each of his visitors to donate to the cause.

“In total my team raised over $20,000. Now that I’m healing, healthy and have all my energy back, I am shooting for $30,000,” Marks said.

Leftapalooza collected funding from admission prices, beer sales, donations and registration for Light the Night’s upcoming fundraiser walk. LLS senior campaign director Beth Muehlethaler described the walk as an ample opportunity to raise more awareness.

Participants purchased illuminated lanterns at the LLS booth. The lanterns came in three different colors: white for survivors and honoring the power of research, red for current cancer patients and gold to remember those who have lost the battle. All proceeds from the lantern sales went directly to LLS fundraising.

Other activities included an opportunity for patrons to register as potential bone marrow donors and suggested for numerous ways to become involved in the campaign. Leftapalooza also offered a variety of live music and a plethora of local beer and food vendors. The event was a party for a good cause.

“The beer is always a plus,” said attendee Raquel Stellcampo. “But I came here because I recognize that my health is a blessing and others are not as fortunate as I am. I read about Quade on 9News and wanted to come support the cause. There are thousands of sick patients that need to hear our voices and receive our love.”

Since 1954, the LLS has successfully funded over $1 billion in blood cancer research.

Along with local beer, games and music, Leftapalooza offered tattoos for any brave guests. Jeremiah took a break from the needle for a quick close-up.

There are currently over 1.2 million people in the United States living with, or in remission from, a blood cancer. Marks remarked that both he and the LLS foundation believe in a future without the disease. Through their campaigns, the LLS continues to strive to making this wish a reality.

On Sept. 28, 2017, the LLS will host Rocky Mountain Light The Night at Denver’s Washington Park. The event is a 1.5-mile evening walk in which participants carry the illuminated lanterns sold at Leftapalooza. The LLS encourages people of all ages to come out and commemorate the lives touched by cancer. Participation may come from walking, becoming a sponsor, donating a product or service and/or becoming a Corporate Ambassador. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include live music

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