While much progress has been made in the fight against blood cancer more work is to be done, Beatriz Canals says

Hollywood, FL--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--June 8, 2006--Beatriz Canals, a CBS 4 and UPN 33 veteran South Florida news anchor and reporter, has accepted the invitation to be the 2006 Honorary Chair of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night(R) Walks in South Florida. The Light The Night Walk is the Society’s annual fundraising walk held nationwide in the fall to raise funds for cancer research and patient services.

Beatriz Canals joined CBS4 and UPN33 after anchoring the 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. news casts at another local Miami broadcast television station. Canals brings more than 15 years experience covering news in her hometown of Miami as investigative news reporter, anchor, news producer and special projects producer.

Beatriz has covered several big stories including the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and the Latin Grammy’s in Los Angeles. Beatriz also traveled to New York to cover the untimely death of JFK Junior, his wife and her sister. Beatriz was one of the first reporters on the scene after the crash of ValuJet Flight 592. Beatriz has also reported on Gianni Versace's murder; traveled to Cuba for a series of reports; and even went diving with sharks at Stuart's Cove in the Bahamas!

Born in Orange, NJ, Beatriz and her family moved to Miami when she was two years old and has since called this city home. Beatriz attended high school at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in South Miami and studied broadcast journalism at Florida International University.

At Light The Night Walk events across the country and Canada, participants carry illuminated balloons – white for survivors, red for supporters – to raise awareness and funds to advance the Society’s mission.

“Light The Night is a celebration of life and survivorship, and a meaningful way to honor lives lost to blood cancer,” said Beatriz Canals, UPN 33 news anchor and reporter who has more than 15 years experience covering news in her hometown of Miami. “The event is a great way to build a spirit of caring and cooperation among families, friends and co-workers as they help others. I am honored to serve as Honorary Chair and to encourage commitment from our South Florida Community. We are taking strides to save lives.”

Beatriz Canals pointed out that survival rates for some forms of blood cancer have improved dramatically over the past 45 years, but still, too many patients are dying. In 1964, a patient with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of the disease to strike children, had only a 3 percent chance of living five years, while in 2001, the five year survival rate jumped to 86 percent. Yet, more than 22,000 people died from leukemia in 2005.

“Every five minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer; every 10 minutes someone dies from these diseases,” Beatriz Canals said. “More than 54,000 people died of these diseases last year and that is far too many. The Light The Night campaign helps bring hope to thousands of patients and their families.”

To find out more about forming a team, contact the Southern Florida Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 954-961-3234 or 305-937-7444 or visit http://www.lightthenight.org/sfl.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (R), based in White Plains, NY, is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the society has provided more that $411 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers.

For more information about blood cancer, visit http://www.LLS.org or call the Society’s Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

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