Brittany Mallinger, a senior Social Work major, raised more than $1,150 over a six-month period for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk held in Princeton last month.
The nighttime walks take place in nearly 200 communities across North America in the fall. Participants walk with illuminated balloons — white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones. Mallinger of Cherry Hill walked with a white luminaria to shed light on the darkness of cancer, which she conquered after being diagnosed as a freshman three years ago.
“Seeing all of the gold balloons makes me want to help those who are going through it. I felt so lucky and appreciative,” she said.
Seeing the balloons, especially the gold, sends a visually powerful message, she added.
The Golden Key International Honour Society’s Stockton chapter, to which Mallinger belongs, helped contribute $450 to her efforts through bake sales on campus. “Together we broke the record of Stockton’s Golden Key chapter by raising more money than has ever been raised for one event,” she said.
“I love getting involved in volunteer work and am passionate about helping others. I am determined to have an MSW (Master’s in Social Work) so that I may become a medical social worker and help those who have been affected by an illness or a disability,” she said.
At Stockton, Mallinger is co-secretary of the History Club and a member of the Social Work Club. She’s also a VIP member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
This semester she interned with AtlantiCare in behavioral health at the Oakcrest High School Teen Center. “I engaged with clients and helped them with their academic goals,” she explained.
Mallinger wants to work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) or in a hospital that specializes in oncology, and her ultimate goal is to open a hospital in the Northeast similar to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “I have such a strong desire to create a positive and lasting impact for others,” she said.
Her message to those battling cancer is, “Keep your head up and put up a good fight.”
Something Mallinger learned during her fight was that it’s okay to ask for help. “Sometimes you have to. Even superheroes like Wonder Woman and Superman need a little help from other members of the Justice League now and again,” she said.