Race for the Cure draws thousands, survivors speak out - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Race for the Cure draws thousands, survivors speak out

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Saturday morning, a sea of pink flooded Peoria as thousands participated in the annual Race for the Cure.

Despite the rain and thunder, hundreds and hundreds of survivors and supporters weathered the storm.

Sue Paul is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2011 and vividly remembers getting that call.

"Instead of saying 'Why me?' I said 'Why not me?' It could be anybody and there is a plan here. There's a plan that you are suppose to do something bigger than yourself," stated Paul.

Helen Hill is another survivor, diagnosed in 2013.

"The first thing I thought about when I got the diagnosis is death," Hill said.

"But it isn't. We are finding out it isn't," said Debbie Meyer.

Meyer survived breast cancer in 2001 and 2005.

"Get connected with someone who has walked that journey.. It's very important you don't try to deal with it on your own. It's just too much," said Meyer.

Survivors encourage those fighting now to hang on.

"Bald is beautiful," said Paul.

The race wasn't just for adults - Over 600 kids tied up their shoe laces and joined in on the fun too.

The Kids for the Cure booth had lots of fun activities, like a Kids in the Kitchen program where kids ate waffles and put together some goody bags. Others got their hair dyed pink and had makeovers.

"And Kids for the Cure is this realization that cancer affects everybody in the whole family. It just doesn't affect one person. So we want to have special activities for the kids who often struggle as much or if not more with a diagnosis than the patient themselves," stated Parker.

And the race wouldn't be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers going the extra mile to make sure this was an unforgettable experience.

Organizers said they are never at a loss for people willing to donate their time, since cancer has such a wide reach.

Volunteers helped with things like registration and serving breakfast to survivors, while others were out on the race course.

At the end of the day, every piece came together for a future where we won't have to race for a cure any more.

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