Thousands of walkers raise money for Breast Cancer research

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS  (WLOX) -  The Fifth Annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" fund raising walk attracted a crowd of thousands in downtown Biloxi on Saturday.

This year in the United States some 200,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 of those will die from the disease.

Many of the walkers proudly wore "survivor" ribbons. Others walked in honor of or in memory of, a loved one, friend or co-worker.

They share a common purpose:  Doing away with a dreadful disease.

"And we are joining tens of thousands of other people across the country, making strides against breast cancer," said WLOX's Rhonda Weidner, who helped emcee the morning event.

Countless teams of walkers came to the Biloxi Town Green ready to do their part.

"Every year it gets better and better. I love, love seeing every one of these people. My favorites are the guys in the pink dresses," said event chairman Tammy Rush.

That would include Shannon Boykin from AMR, who proudly wore a poodle skirt.

"Awesome cause, awesome cause, I would have shown up in a pink mini skirt if they'd asked me to," said Boykin.

Creative t-shirts bring out the competitive spirit of participants.

"So, we're going to make strides, and we're going to fight. And we're going to find a cure for this disease!" said an American Cancer Society spokesman from the podium.

That may just happen by the time the youngest of participants has to worry about breast cancer.

We spotted two time breast cancer survivor Sheila White among the flock of Golden Eagles.

"It's a great day and a great day for fighting breast cancer, so we can all have more birthdays," she said.

Survivor Lois Wilkie sported a pair of angel wings to the walk. She's a believer and a fighter.

"Twelve years ago, I was told that I had breast cancer. And I thought that I had a death sentence, but I did not. And I thought that word was so big. But now I'm as big as the word," said Wilkie.

Glenda Collins heard the dreaded "C" word some 18 years ago.

"And when we come back, we see all these survivors. We see new faces. We see old faces. That let's us know hope is on the way. Success in cancer treatment. And that's why we're here. We're walking just to prove, let everyone come out and join us and support this great cause," said Collins.

The Biloxi event raised more than $200,000 for breast cancer research.

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