Candlelight Vigil In Spokane Honors Kids Fighting Cancer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Candlelight Vigil In Spokane Honors Kids Fighting Cancer

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The words "you have cancer" would devastate anyone, but it's especially hard for parents to hear the diagnosis about their own children.

"It's a pretty crazy feeling actually, it's devastating," Becca Lemus told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

"Because you don't want to think about your baby being sick."

It's a world Lemus has been living in for a year, after her daughter Marleigh was diagnosed with leukemia two days after her 4th birthday. In the time since, the little girl has had two kinds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant – and she's still fighting.

From the beginning, the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest was there. Representatives came by their hospital room with a basket of goodies and a whole lot of support.

"They come and talk to you and ask if there's anything they can help you with, and really just try to make you feel as comfortable as you can in a place where you're not normally comfortable," Lemus explained.

The Lemus family is just one of about 50 in the Spokane area every year that hear the words: "your child has cancer." Now, in the biggest battle of her little life, Marleigh has become a face of the organization. Her sparkling blue eyes are on billboards in town and on the "Paint The Town Gold" ribbon campaign.

"Cancer is so scary, but it's been nice to have Marleigh be a part of something that really shows that, as scary as it is, these kids have so much life and they're still so happy, they're still children," Lemus added.

That's exactly what Monday night's 16th Annual Childhood Cancer Awareness Vigil is all about. Roughly 60 people are expected at the Glover Mansion in Spokane to honor children who have, or have had, cancer and support their families.

The vigil starts at 6:00 p.m. Monday and is free to the public.

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