PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A sea of pink started moving through the streets of Plano early Friday morning as hundreds of women and men began a 60-mile journey in the fight against breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk kicked off at the Collin Creek Mall. It’s a three-day walk, 20 miles each day, involving some 900 participants.
“Every time their foot hits the pavement, they’re raising awareness for breast cancer,” said event spokeswoman Sheri Prentiss, a breast cancer survivor herself.
The weekend walk has netted a grand total of $800 million nationwide to help end breast cancer. Over the last decade, North Texans have contributed more than $64 million to the cause. Each one of the people walking this weekend have raised at least $2,300 in donations.
“In 2016 alone, there will be 240,000 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women and more than 2,600 diagnosed in men. To have 900 participants show up and 300 crew members show up to do what they can to bring an end to breast cancer, it’s just a wonderful experience for survivors,” Prentiss continued.
Of the cash raised locally, 75 percent of the net proceeds go to research programs, community health and advocacy, and global partnerships. The remaining 25 percent stays in the North Texas community, helping to fund education programs, screenings and treatment assistance, and patient services.
“The Komen 3-Day is empowering both physically and mentally,” Prentiss said.
Volunteers and loved ones line the streets to cheer along the walkers and camp with them at the end of each day. “This is truly a community. This is a family,” Prentiss added. “We come back year after year after year because of the love and commitment that we have, and the determination that we have to bring an end to this disease.”
This time, some new faces joined those who return each year. Miranda Downe is 16 years old, and this is the first year that she was eligible to walk. “My mom is a survivor, and I lost my dance teacher to breast cancer, so it’s something that means a lot to me,” she said. “I want to do everything I can to end it.”
Laurie Downe learned about her breast cancer 16 years ago, when baby Miranda stopped nursing. “I’m a 16-year survivor,” the North Texas mother said. The Downes were excited to walk together. “We’ve trained over 200 miles walking to prepare for it and raised about $5,000 together. So, yeah, it’s been a lot of work, but it’s something that we’ve enjoyed and we’re looking forward to experiencing together.”