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Thousands tie their laces to walk for breast cancer cure

Published On: Oct 21 2012 06:31:07 PM EDT

Breast cancer can happen to anyone, your mother, sister, friend, or co-worker. But every year, nationwide, people tie their laces to walk for a cure.

Thousands of people were gathering in Kingsport Sunday for the Tri-Cities seventh annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Organizers hoped more than 6,000 walkers would raise roughly $500,000.

Oh to walk a mile in these shoes. "This time last year I had just finished up my chemo and radiation," said Cammie McDavid.

But nothing seems to slow down the breast cancer survivor, McDavid says this year's Race for the Cure is truly a celebration. "Even though it was a hard time, it's kind of a distant memory. I'm wanting to help other people that have to fight this battle," she said.

Two legs or four legs, it didn't matter at this 5K. "It's empowering, it's refreshing, it's just nice to know that you're apart of something big like this," said walker Penny Van Huss.

Everyone was walking or running for someone. "In memory of my mom, to remember her," added Brandon Van Huss.

Kristen Duncan is coming up on a five year milestone, calling herself a survivor, and Duncan is thinking of one thing each mile, "That you've overcome the treatments and the disease itself."

She started a team the year she finished her treatment. While Duncan's family is walking for her, she's walking for others battling breast cancer. "Unfortunately I've added a name every year to my little poster that you wear on your back because someone else that I know has been affected," added Duncan.

In a field of pink, Duncan hopes each race inspires people, "What a fight it is when someone is going through breast cancer and then ultimately there will be a cure."

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. There is a one in eight chance of a woman having breast cancer some time during her life. Currently there are almost 3,000,000 breast cancer survivors in the United States.