Western Mass. fights back against cancer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – They’re the women who fought and won their battle against breast cancer, and on Sunday, they came together to focus on finding a cure at the 22nd annual Rays of Hope walk and run in Springfield.

Three time breast cancer survivor Joanne Leary Beaudry told 22News one of her goals is to make sure other women don’t have to go through what she did in the future. “My goal as a survivor is to help other women navigate this journey because it is a very traumatic journey, but also just go on with my life, to not let cancer take one more day of my life,” she said.

Draped in pink and wearing ribbons of support, more than 20,000 participants helped fight back against breast cancer, a terrifying diagnosis that nearly 231,000 Americans are expected to receive in 2015.

Jacinda Ware was just 17-years-old, a senior in high school, when she found a tumor on her breast. “They immediately ordered a biopsy and they had me come back in two days later to tell me I had to go into surgery,” she said.

The surgery was a success, but Jacinda’s battle isn’t over. The doctors recently found another tumor, an obstacle that’s fairly common among breast cancer survivors.

Paula Winfree told 22News she beat breast cancer for the second time last year. “The second time was a little bit scarier, you know? I didn’t know if I was going to be a survivor or not but I remained positive, that’s the main thing you have to be positive,” she said.

22News is a proud sponsor of The Rays of Hope. The organization has raised more than $12-million for breast cancer since 1994, all of which stays right here in western Massachusetts.

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