SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Pink balloons decorated the sky, as song and dance filled the streets of Springfield.
The 21st Annual Rays of Hope walk and run reminded thousands of volunteers, supporters, and survivors of their goal that events like this one will someday lead to a cure.
Faces of Breast Cancer survivors were painted with smiles of gratitude, like Carmen Taylor who spent the day with a supportive family by her side. “I feel blessed. It’s an honor to have my family and children with me being very supportive, that’s important for recovery, support from family and friends,” she said.
Since 1994 Rays of Hope has raised more than $11 million for Breast Cancer research and patient care through Baystate Health Foundation.
Karen Farmer returns year after year to “walk toward a cure.” In previous years, to honor family members she’s lost. This year she honored a survivor, her best friend. “They raise awareness for causes that I hold very dear and close to my heart because of the losses my family has suffered, and also the stress and the traumatic things that my friends have gone through,” she said.
Debbie Blake won her battle against Breast Cancer 16 years ago, but she didn’t celebrate that victory today. Instead, she celebrated the memory of a dear friend. “Years ago I would have never done this, but years ago when she (her friend) had cancer she passed away, and because of her I do this walk,” she said.
The survivors 22News spoke with had one message they wanted to share: Never stop checking for the signs of Breast Cancer, and never think it won’t happen to you.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation estimates 40 thousand women will lose their battle against Breast Cancer this year.