Cancer survivor urges people to walk for cure
Barry Blanton has a long history of battling cancer, both as the son of a cancer patient and as a patient himself, so it’s no surprise that he is dedicated to raising money to fund research for cures.Blanton, born in Conroe and a Woodlands resident since 1990, was diagnosed with a non-life-threatening form of lymphoma, and three years later, his father was diagnosed with leukemia. “There are two things that I don’t think doctors should have to say, and unfortunately, I’ve heard both of them,” Blanton said. “One of those is ‘treatable but not curable,’ which is what I was told when I was first diagnosed. “The second thing is that we are out of treatment options,” he said. “And that’s what I was told in regard to my father.”
After undergoing treatment for his own cancer in 2005, Blanton and his wife, Fran, started the Blanton Bunch, a group that participates in Light the Night in The Woodlands to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to research potential cures.
Light the Night is a nationwide event that brings together local communities to raise money specifically for research into blood cancers. The Woodlands event, which includes all of Montgomery County, was held recently and is now in its seventh year of operation. Another Houston-area walk will be held Nov. 10 starting 6:30 p.m. at Discovery Green.
Both Blanton’s father and mother-in-law walked with the team during that first event, but sadly, both lost their own battles with cancer in subsequent years. Now Blanton and his wife continue in their memory, hoping to fund the research that will keep others from suffering what they have gone through.
He encourages others in the community to get involved as well. “The best way to get involved is to join a team that’s walking, walk as an individual, donate money to another team that’s walking or become a sponsor,” Blanton said. Blanton, who has four children and one grandchild, also emphasizes that Light the Night is an event that entire families can be a part of.
“It is unlike any fundraiser you’ll ever go to,” he said. “It’s really a spectacular evening. It’s all about hope.” Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com ABOUT BARRY BLANTON AGE: 53 OCCUPATION: CFO of Blanton Advisors LLC COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Born in Conroe, lives in The Woodlands FAST FACT: The Blanton Bunch has raised more than $105,000 since 2005.
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