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Childhood Leukemia survivor honours battle during 'Light the Night' event

Leukemia survivor, Rachel, will be walking in this years Light the Night. The photo includes her sister Hayley and mother Lauren Spotzl. SOURCE: Tim James / News 1130

Nine-year-old, Rachel, is getting ready to walk at Light the Night as a survivor of leukemia

Rachel will be hitting the pavement as an honourary hero of the event

This evening's walk starts at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – She lived in the hospital for six months, went through many rounds of chemotherapy, and even a transplant, all starting at the age of seven.

Now, a girl in Vancouver will be walking as a survivor of a rare form of leukemia in Light the Night Saturday evening in honour of her own battle, and of others still fighting theirs.

Two years ago, on a Saturday afternoon, Rachel suffered a stroke. It was later discovered Rachel had an aggressive blood cancer changing everything for her and her family.

She was eventually discharged from hospital, but the cancer quickly came back and she needed a bone marrow transplant.

Rachel’s little sister Hayley was a half-match, although Rachel wasn’t able to walk in last year’s Light the Night in Vancouver.

“Hayley, being a half match, was going to be our best chance at a cure. So, we moved forward, multiple rounds of chemotherapy again,” Rachel and Hayley’s mother Lauren Spotzl says.

And when the transplant day came, October 3rd, 2018, the Light the Night was brought to the girls since Rachel was not able to participate that year.

“We had the Light the Night lanterns in our hospital room. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was wonderful, and they live-streamed the event for us.”

Lauren says Rachel is in remission and off treatment.

“We’re so fortunate to have Rachel doing as well as she is right now, and we’re really hopeful we can continue being together as a family.”

This evening’s walk starts at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park.