We meet this year's honored hero at the Light the Night Walk for blood cancer

Liz Kotalik

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

We meet this year's honored hero at the Light the Night Walk for blood cancer

CREATED Oct. 5, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When he is jumping around and playing with his friends, it's hard to believe the battles five-year-old Bryce Crane has had to fight.

"He went back to preschool in April," Bryce's mother Tracey told Nine On Your Side, "And [he and his teacher were] just sitting there coloring one day at the table and he said, I'm just so happy to be here, and at five he shouldn't have to get it, but I think he gets it."  
Bryce just finished his first year of chemotherapy after doctors diagnosed him with the blood cancer, Leukemia.
While his once bald head is now covered with thick, brown hair, his mother told us she is cautiously optimistic.
"They call it remission, but technically he's not in remission, because they said if they stop treating, 80% of the kids get their leukemia back."
They attended the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk, because little Bryce was this year's honored hero.
People carried around balloons, red for supporters, white for current and surviving patients, and gold for those who lost someone.
It's an event the organization said is imperative to help them help others.
"We invest in lifesaving, breakthrough therapies for cancer patients, and we can't do that without the money that we are able to raise through events like Light the Night," LLS' executive director, Jim Brewer, told Nine On Your Side.
It's money that even healthy, young ones gave, like one special girl named Sadie.
"I did a spell-a-thon," she told us, "and I spelled for a lot of people in my neighborhood, and I made 338 dollars."
As the day turned to night, all of Reid Park lit up, and with a ceremonial cut of the ribbon, Bryce lead his army of supporters through the now bright and colorful Tucson streets. 
"It's just a message of hope," Bryce's mom said, "that there are people that do come through this and, there's light on the other side."
Tonight's walk raised more than $172,000.
If you couldn't make it tonight, click here to donate