Over 6,000 gather for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Over 6,000 gather for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure


Over 6,000 people gathered outside the Civic Center in downtown Lubbock Saturday morning to help support breast cancer research. Men and women bundled up to protect themselves from the cold temperatures, but still managed to show their colors.

One woman, a breast cancer survivor, dyed her hair pink to match her pink sweatshirt and leg warmers. A little girl in a pink wig on was walking next to another girl with a sign that said "We love boobies." Breast cancer survivor Debbie Ballard and friends all wore tutus with bras over their t-shirts.

They said the Komen walk is something they look forward to every year.

"Well we love the Komen walk because it gets us together. All my friends and my family support me in this," Ballard said. "I am a firm believer in a cure for cancer. And everybody should go get mammograms. It's an important thing in every woman's life. This just makes me warm all over because so many people support us survivors. It's a wonderful thing."

Kathy Davis is a member of Debbie's crew. She's not only there to support her friend, but to honor her mother as well.  

"My mom's cancer started with breast cancer. We're going to find a cure because I don't want to see anyone go through what she did," Davis said.

New to the race this year is a feature called Suzy's Garden. It's a section of grass where families can go online and buy tulips to honor loved ones who have been affected by breast cancer.

Debbie said, "It makes me cry. It does, it touches my heart. It makes me feel loved, just recognizing everyone. It just shows that there's a lot of women that need this cure and we can get this cure."

Colleen Eppler is a bereavement coordinator for Odyssey Hospice.

"My mother-in-law has just become a survivor," Eppler said. "She's 86 years old and it's just an honor to walk with these people who have lost someone or are choosing to remember a loved one because they beat cancer. I just started talking to people and there are lots of tears."

According to statistics from the Susan G. Komen foundation, every 74 seconds someone around the world dies from breast cancer. They estimate that in 2012 over 39,000 women and 400 men will die from breast cancer in the United States.

Sisters Kimberlee Meier and Amber Joyce had their immediate family shaken by breast cancer.   

"Sixteen years ago our mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. We're just out here to support her and to support all of the people who are still fighting or have lost their battle with cancer," Kimberlee said. "Even though you don't know a lot of these people...you're all here for one common thing - to find a cure and to support the people that are still fighting."

Amber says she and Kimberlee make sure to get checked regularly.

"We will continue to support our mother and to raise awareness for all women and men," they said.

Erika O'Connor said the cold temperatures shouldn't keep people away. 

"You got a lot of warmth from the love of people out here," O'Connor said. "It doesn't matter if it's cold or hot or whatever. A cure for breast cancer needs to be found in any weather at any time."

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