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Australian sports broadcaster Bruce McAvaney to light up the night skies for a cause in his blood!

  • Bruce McAvaney to lead Australians impacted by blood cancer in virtual lantern lighting ceremony
  • Registrations now open for Leukaemia Foundation’s Light the Night to unite Australian blood cancer community in evening of hope
  • Blood cancer on the rise, registering for Light the Night a simple way Australians can show support and solidarity for blood cancer community

Legendary sports broadcaster, Bruce McAvaney will be fronting an event close to his heart as he prepares to host the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual Light the Night event in Blood Cancer Month (September).

Diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) in 2014, Bruce is widely known as one of Australia’s greatest sporting commentators, but what many don’t realise is that he is an inspiration to an entirely different community in Australia – the blood cancer community.

For 15 years, this community has come together for Light the Night as thousands of Australians impacted by blood cancer, from every corner of the country, light up the night skies from their backyards, loungerooms and hospital wards. This year and for the first time, Bruce will guide them through the virtual lantern lighting ceremony as they tune in online on Friday 30 September.

Having lived for almost eight years with CLL, Bruce says his journey in many ways is just beginning and credits the support he receives to helping him navigate his diagnosis and treatment for blood cancer.

“I feel so lucky to be under the care of a strong team of blood cancer specialists and an extended family who are concerned about me physically but also emotionally. I also have a canine best friend, Frankie, who rarely lets me out of her sight.

“So many of us face health challenges but we are not alone, although sometimes it might feel that way. Support is the important thing and Light the Night provides an opportunity for every Australian impacted by blood cancer, to come together and support each other on this very special night.

“When we see those lanterns glowing, it’s a bit like holding hands through the darkness. We think of those who have blood cancer and those of us who are supporting loved ones who are fighting it, and those too who have lost loved ones. And those who work tirelessly to get the better of it. We may not be physically together, but we’re certainly joined in spirit.”

This year’s Light the Night is shaping up as one of the most important yet as blood cancer incidence and mortality in Australia continues to rise. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recently released their Cancer Data in Australia 2022 report, confirming that more than 53 Australians will be diagnosed with blood cancer every day this year, an increase from 50 people daily in 2021.1

The report also demonstrated that when combined, blood cancers are one of Australia’s deadliest cancers with 1 in 3 people diagnosed with blood cancer not surviving 5 years after their diagnosis.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said that with the growing number of Australians impacted by a blood cancer diagnosis, evenings like Light the Night present a moment in time where people can find comfort in the fact that they are not alone and enable them to connect with others impacted by the disease.

“Patients, their families, carers and friends, and members of the medical and research communities will stand united during Light the Night in support of a future free of blood cancer. We’re proud to have Bruce joining us this year and sharing his personal story, as together we stand with all Australians impacted by blood cancer,” Mr Tanti said.

Registering for Light the Night is a simple way that every Australian can visibly show their support for people living with blood cancer and thanks to the online virtual format of the lantern lighting ceremony, no matter where you live, or how you’ve been impacted by blood cancer, everyone has the opportunity to participate and create their own special Light the Night experience.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s Light the Night event on Friday 30 September is now open for registrations. To sign up and register your event, go to and gather your loved ones to join in the virtual lantern ceremony at nightfall.

1 Cancer data in Australia

Last updated on January 3rd, 2023

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.