The Leukaemia Foundation Welcomed Bruce McAvaney as Our Light the Night Host For 2022
19 August 2022
The Leukaemia Foundation was proud to welcome Australian sports broadcaster and commentator Bruce McAvaney as our Light the Night host for 2022.
For over four decades we have heard Bruce's iconic voice echo through our living rooms and radios during famous sporting events on Channel 7 such as the Australian Open, the Olympics, AFL, the Melbourne Cup, and the Commonwealth Games—but now, he's the voice of a cause that is close to his heart.
In 2014, after a routine blood test, Bruce was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), joining 135,000 other people currently living with a blood cancer.
"Although I was diagnosed back in 2014, in many ways my journey was just beginning. It didn’t require treatment at that stage, just monitoring. In those eight years since I was first diagnosed, I know treatment options have increased exponentially—and that’s because of the focus on research worldwide but not least in Australia."
Bruce and those close to him decided to keep his battle with cancer private following his diagnosis, as he continued to complete his broadcasting and commentating duties for Channel 7. In March 2017, nearly three years after he was diagnosed, he revealed publicly that he had blood cancer—and received overwhelming support from both inside and outside the Australian sporting community.
Since his diagnosis, he has also been blessed with incredible support from medical experts both in his hometown of Adelaide and in Melbourne, his employer, and most of all his family (including his "canine best friend" Frankie)—and for that, he is eternally grateful.
“There’s regular communication from them and it makes me feel safe. And that takes away much of the fear of what might lie ahead. Support is the thing. I’m lucky to have an extended family who are concerned about me physically but also emotionally. As you can see, I have a canine best friend, Frankie, who rarely lets me out of her sight. I have an employer who I can talk to about how I might need to modify my commitments to protect my health.
Upon reflection of his blood cancer experience to date, Bruce is quick to highlight that blood cancer can touch anyone, at any time.
“So many of us face health challenges. Blood cancers don’t discriminate across age, gender or race. We’re not alone but sometimes it might feel that way.”
“When we see those lanterns glowing, it’s a bit like holding hands through the darkness. We think of those who have cancer and those of us who are supporting loved ones who are fighting it, and those too who have lost loved ones. And those who work tirelessly to get the better of it.”
Bruce had a message for those that participated in Light the Night and joined him as he lit a white lantern in honour of his unique blood cancer journey:
“Whether you lit a white, blue or gold lantern this year, I hope you felt that you are not alone. We may not physically be together, but we’re certainly joined in spirit.”