Battling breast cancer: Race for the Cure sprints to the finish

Battling breast cancer: Race for the Cure sprints to the finish

CREATED Mar 25, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a cause that means so much to so many. Despite an expected drop in numbers, 7,000 plus came out to Reid Park to Race for the Cure. It's the Susan G. Komen Southern Arizona chapter's largest fundraiser.

"It means a lot to a whole lot of people," one walker said.

Organizers confirm to 9OYS there was a 30 percent drop in the number of registrants, but crowds still packed down Country Club Rd. at the start of the race. Every woman runs for a different reason. Every person has their own story to tell.

"My sister Donna has it in her brain, and now it's in her bones," breast cancer survivor Linda McCallister said.

"It started with my mom and four years later I was diagnosed," survivor Valerie Gentry said.

"Today, I dedicated the day to my sister a 20 year breast cancer survivor," Komen SAZ Executive Director Jamie Leopold said.

Families showed 9OYS the names and faces of loved ones who they remember, the ones who died and the ones who continue to fight step by step. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked survivors how all this support from family and complete strangers makes them feel. "It feels so good because they really care," Gentry said. "We're going to have a cure. I know it's going to come."

Survivors, family members and their support network sign up to run as teams. One group caught KGUN 9's attention. They call themselves "the breast cancer bunnies." Dressed in bunny tail and even bunny ears, they dress like this with a purpose.

"It's kind of like the energizer bunny, except we're the breast cancer bunnies" Megan McCallister said. "Nothing can stop us, we just keep going and going."

Aubry Herrera has been fighting breast cancer for four years now, and she's done it while serving in the military. Her base of supporters came out to cheer her on. She says support like that makes all the difference.

Komen SAZ tells KGUN9 that 7,217 people came out this year compared to around 10,000 last year. The group won't have a final number on donations for a few weeks, but it says there's still time to help out. Komen SAZ will be accepting donations through April 13th.