Duke Cancer Institute Ready To Light The Night

July 19, 2018

Danielle Brander, MD, and her family visit the DCI Glam Station while at last year's Light The Night walk in Cary, North Carolina.For a second year, hematologic oncologist Danielle Brander, MD, will lead the way for Team Duke Cancer Center Durham at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light the Night walk. Duke Raleigh Hospital president David Zaas, MD, MBA, and his wife Aimee Zaas, MD, will, also for a second year, serve as honorary captains of Team Duke Cancer Center Raleigh.


Brander joined the Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy at Duke Cancer Institute in July 2013. She is the lead physician at Duke Cancer Center’s chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and indolent lymphoma clinic and Duke site principal investigator for clinical trials for these cancers. 


A cancer survivor, in Feb. 2017 David Zaas was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is caused by a rare genetic mutation. He underwent a clinical trial based on personalized gene therapy. Soon after his diagnosis a series of bone marrow drives were held to help find a match for Zaas. As fate would have it, his teenage son, Jake, turned out to be a perfect match, and in the spring of 2017 donated lymphocytes, taken from his bone marrow, to give to his father. The Duke Raleigh Hospital president has been cancer-free since May 2017.


Center stage, Duke radiation oncology nurse Nicole Kenney, BSN, RN, OCN, CNIII, lights the night last year in memory of her mother, Noreen. Kenney captains Team Noreen, which has raised thousands of dollars over the years in support of LLS.

According to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, approximately every three minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. An estimated combined total of 174,250 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2018, and new cases of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are expected to account for 10 percent of the estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed.


More than 5,000 people step out each year for the Light The Night walk. This year’s walk will take place Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, North Carolina. For a third year, Duke Cancer Institute will sponsor a Glam Station featuring spa-inspired activities hosted by Duke Cancer Institute's Patient Support Program. Highlights include complimentary makeup and salon services, scarf tying, wig fitting and face painting for kids. The Glam Station will also feature a photo booth.


To learn more or to join Team Duke Cancer Center Durham, led by honorary team captain Danielle Brander, MD, visit Team Duke Cancer Center Durham. To join Team Duke Cancer Center Raleigh, led by honorary team captains David Zaas, MD, and Aimee Zaas, MD, please go to Team Duke Cancer Center Raleigh.


Circle Photo: David Zaas, MD, MBA, president, Duke Raleigh Hospital