Thousands of people converged upon Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach Sunday for the 22 annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Approximately 15,000 breast cancer survivors, including Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, participated in the event bringing along family and friends for support. Supporters carried signs, waved giant bras in the air, wore matching shirts, spawned wings and sported tutus, all in the name of raising awareness about breast cancer.
Hutchens, who spoke amidst the sea of men and women clad in pink, was introduced as a role model for all women, who demonstrated strength and courage as she continued to work at the Orange County Sheriff's Department throughout her treatment.
"Eleven months ago, my life changed when I was first diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer," Hutchens said. "I felt like someone punched me in the gut and I couldn't catch my breath."
Her diagnosis came six months after her last mammogram, where nothing was found, when she noticed a lump. She shared her feelings about being afraid and too busy to find something, like so many others.
"Well, I'm not too busy now, to be vigilant about my health," Hutchens said.
Many others like Aric Toll, who lost his wife to cancer on Nov. 12, 2012, was grateful
for the dozen or so friends and family who came to the race dressed in
matching pink tee shirts bearing his wife, Enid's name.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation hopes to raise $2,800,000 which will help support breast health including educational outreach, mammography and treatment services for women, according to event organizers.
The Newport Beach Police Department estimated more than 25,000 people
participated in the event.