LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The 143 breast cancer and ovarian cancer survivors who will walk in the Survivors Parade on Kentucky Oaks Day were announced Tuesday by Churchill Downs and its charitable partner, The Breast Health Program at Norton Cancer Institute.
The public may read the survivors' stories and donate to North Cancer Institute Breast Health Program by clicking here.
The ninth annual Survivors Parade will take place on Churchill Downs' historic racetrack at the 143rd Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 5, 2017, the day before the Kentucky Derby.
The public nominated and selected the 143 survivors to champion breast and ovarian cancer awareness in this year's Survivors Parade through an online process. Nearly 400 survivors were nominated from across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The 143 survivors selected are from cities as wide-ranging as San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico; Somerset, California; Denver, Colorado; Rochester, Minnesota; Avonmore, Pennsylvania; Deltona, Florida; and Louisville, Kentucky.
The Survivors Parade is part of Churchill Downs' ninth annual Pink Out, during which the track conducts fundraising, provides outreach, and drives national breast and ovarian cancer awareness. Churchill Downs has donated more than $820,000 to breast cancer organizations through the Pink Out celebration over the last nine years.
"As a local organization, Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program is honored to become part of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks tradition," Lynnie Meyer, Norton Healthcare senior vice president of women's and children's community partnerships, and chief development officer, said. "The Survivors Parade brings us together to celebrate hope and raise funds to support and provide care for survivors in our community and across the nation."
"The Survivors Parade has been one of the highlights of the Kentucky Derby weekend for the past nine years," Lauren DePaso, Director of Community Relations for Churchill Downs Incorporated, said. "We are proud to partner with the Derby Divas Committee to join Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program and our fans to celebrate these incredible survivors, help raise critical funds and drive national awareness of the fight against breast and ovarian cancer."
The Kentucky Oaks is America's premiere race for three-year-old fillies, creating a natural tie to celebrating female strength and spirit.