HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- Thousands of runners and walkers filled the streets near the UTC Arena for the 12th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Race organizers say more than 8,000 people registered for this year's event.
Sunday afternoon's race started out with 450 breast cancer survivors participating in a survivors parade. Later, carrying signs and wearing t-shirts of support, friends and family touched by the disease, even strangers started walking for a cure.
Even those who could not walk still showed their support like the Mt. Canaan 'Sitting' Eagles.
"We're walking for our science teacher Ms. Blanks. She just found out she had breast cancer," says Maddi Foster.
Foster and fellow students from Ringgold Middle School turned out to support their 7th grade science teacher.
"We love her and we're praying for her," says Foster.
"I just found out a week ago I have cancer and I've never felt better. This is just awesome to be here, see all these girls in pink and these guys pink. They're willing to come out on a hot sticky day," says Annie Blanks, a science teacher at Ringgold.
There were cheers of encouragement as runners and walkers crossed the finish line. And while many were in the race for those fighting breast cancer now, others were there to honor the memory of those who lost the battle.
"We have been fighting breast cancer since 2003 and we finally lost our battle on the 24th of July of this year," says Gloria Mitchell.
Mitchell lost her 50-year-old daughter, Missy.
"She was a wife, a mother, a nana, a daughter."
Gloria hopes each step taken is one closer to a cure.
"I just hate that the cure didn't come in time for her. Maybe it will for somebody someday," says Mitchell.
"The most important thing is we are trying to find a cure for this disease," says Carol Money, Co-Chair of this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
She says with 1 in 8 women affected by breast cancer, raising money is so important.
"It's my mother, my mother-in-law, my college roommate, way too many of my friends. And I have a lot of extended family that also have this disease. And I'm not the only one. Everyone's like that," says Money.
For every dollar raised at Sunday's race, 75 percent of it stays here in the Chattanooga community for breast cancer treatment and outreach programs.
"We have about one whiskey barrel for about every 2-3 people that live in the state of Tennessee today."More