A pesky joint pain forced Lyneham woman Caitlin Horan to visit a doctor in 2012.
That evening, after a blood test, she received a call which changed her life.
"(The) doctor said 'go straight to hospital, we are pretty sure you have some kind of leukaemia'," she said.
"We raced to Canberra Hospital, checked in through emergency and I didn't leave again for more than two months."
Doctors told her she had a 25 per cent chance of long-term survival.
Almost three years down the track, the 31 year old is in remission and back at work at Campbell High School as the head of the mathematics department - pleased to have proved them wrong.
Caitlin said she kept a brave face on to cope with the reality of her situation.
"My family were devastated and I didn't want to let on I was upset or worried at all" she said.
"Internally I was terrified and crying at night when everyone would leave."
After a few months of treatment, Caitlin was too weak to stand or walk without aid.
Putting her mind to something positive, she set a goal while in hospital to take part in the Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night fundraiser event on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.
"The first one was difficult because I could only just support myself so I had someone on both arms," she said.
"When you are in hospital there is not a lot to do so turning my mind to something positive was really good."
She raised $10,000 in the first year to support people with blood cancer and hasn't missed the event since.
Hundreds of glowing lanterns are scattered through the night sky at the event.
People shine a white lantern for their own journey,a gold lantern to represent a lost loved one and blue to support others.
"The atmosphere is quiet and can be quite emotional," Ms Horan said. "There is a quiet determination you can feel in the crowd to see that a cure is found."
The event takes place on Saturday at 7pm at Kings Park, Lake Burley Griffin.
For details, visit www.lightthenight.org.au