TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL)- It was a sea of pink in Johnson City and Kingsport on Sunday, as people took to the pavement and the river to raise money for breast cancer research.
Thousands joined together at Founders Park in Johnson City for the Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K with the American Cancer Society.
Holly Booker, community manager of the American Cancer Society of Northeast Tennessee, said it’s the sixth year and the event continues to grow.
“We have so many people here who have been through it and have battled,” Booker said. “Some are here and unfortunately some are not, so we are here to celebrate them.”
Survivor Patty Liggett said she participated in the Strides Against Breast Cancer walk last year and right after she want to get her annual mammogram.
“Shortly after that I got a notification there was an issue, so I went back and had another mammogram, which led to a biopsy and I found out I had breast cancer,” Liggett said.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer affects one in eight women, which is why a local business owner in Kingsport decided to contribute to the cause, in his own way.
On Sunday, Craig Widner of GRIP Outdoor Kingsport, held ‘Paint the River Pink’ and donated 100 percent of his proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation cancer research.
“We all know someone that has been affected by breast cancer,” Widner said. “I know friends personally who have been affected, so we just want to help raise some money to find a cure, do our part.”
Survivor Debbie Bell in Kingsport said she braved the cold water Sunday morning to show her support.
“It’s a journey, it’s definitely a learning process,” Bell said. “It’s good to have people there with you to support you through it. Don’t give up and believe in miracles.”
A message that was shared by other survivors like Liggett.
“Positive thinking that takes over a lot and just rust in your faith and your doctors and especially your support groups,” Liggett said.
Booker said this year, they have raised more than $100,000 at the Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K.
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