24th Annual Rays of Hope Walk and Run taking place in Springfield

Funds also support treatment and research.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – October is breast cancer awareness month and thousands participated in the 24th Annual Rays of Hope Walk and Run for the cure to honors those affected by it.


“I knew when I finished that walk I was going to survive,” said chair Midje Theulen, chair of this year’s walk.

This sense of empowerment is exactly what the 24th Annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure is all about..

Since 1994 this event has been one of the most successful fundraising walks in western Massachusetts for breast cancer.

One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life time..

Annual walks like this not only raise funds for treatment and research but also provide support to those who need it most..

Theulen also told 22News she finds support and comfort in the Pink Hope Survivors Lounge,a place where survivors can bond with each other at the walk.

“It just gave me that support and encouragement that I knew that I was going to keep on plugging along and that I was going to make it,” said Theulen.

Elizabeth Frederick said this walk goes above and beyond to make sure survivors like herself feel special and loved..

“I love coming down and seeing the big arch of balloons,” said Frederick. “Every time I see that balloon I get a  rush of emotions.”

Proceeds from this annual walk stay in western Massachusetts, and are used by the Baystate Health Foundation to assist patients and families affected by breast cancer..

Funds also go towards outreach and education.

Baystate State Medial Center was one of many  sponsor for this years walk..

In Springfield, Ciara Speller, 22News..