Thousands descend on Waterfront Park for breast cancer awareness - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Thousands descend on Waterfront Park for breast cancer awareness

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The fight against breast cancer started with a single step in Louisville Sunday. The fight against breast cancer started with a single step in Louisville Sunday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  The fight against breast cancer started with a single step in Louisville Sunday. Thousands joined together on the Waterfront for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The event raised hope, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for research.

It was perfect weather, mild temperatures and sunny, for the 16th annual event. A chance for Kentuckiana to raise awareness about reducing breast cancer risk, raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease, and to honor breast cancer survivors.

Survivors like 62-year-old Rose Phillips. She walked in her first making strides event in 2002 as a supporter. The next year, she walked, as a survivor just months after doctors found a lump.

"In 2002 my mind was focused on what I was doing for someone else," Phillips said. "And in 2003 I was one of the thousands walking because of it."

Phillips said there will be women in the crowd that were diagnosed just weeks ago. So new into their journey they often won't call themselves survivors because they aren't sure they'll make it.

Stephanie Feger, communications director with the American Cancer Society, said the message to those women, is that they aren't alone.

"We are here for them," Feger said. "This cause is for them. This event is for them. It's for those who have been touched by cancer today. It's for those who have been touched by cancer tomorrow."

Feger said 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. Events like the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk spread hope those women can fight and win that battle.

Rose Phillips is now cancer free.

"I just recently ran into someone who was newly diagnosed in their 40s and it absolutely broke my heart," Phillips said. "Someone so young and yet they are diagnosed in their 20s. And we want them to have the rest of their life ahead of them."

Since 1993, more than 9 million cancer charity walkers across the country have raised more than $528 million through making strides against breast cancer events to help fight breast cancer.

The 18,500 people who participated in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer raised $600,000.

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