By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- "We want to make this cancer's last century," said Tracy Henks of The American Cancer Society who helped organize this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
This year's 5k walk marked ACS's 100th anniversary and celebrated the end of the first century of their fight to end cancer. Ms. Henks is ready to finish that fight.
"We want to find a cure. We want to save more lives," Ms. Henks said. "We're working diligently to put ourselves out of business.
That's what last Saturday's event was all about: raising money to fund the fight and bring the community together in a common goal.
So Memorial Park in Stuart became a sea of pink with pink boas and hats, teams in matching pink shirts declaring "Save the ta-tas," even bedazzled pink bras.
More than 1,000 people registered to walk and $135,000 was raised by individuals and teams. The funds will help ACS provide free recourses and support for women with breast cancer and fund research to treat and cure the disease that affects 1 in 8 women.
The event also honored breast cancer survivors, educated people about early detection and how to reduce their cancer risk, and brought the community together in a unified goal.
Mothers and daughters walked together, friends, those who had lost loved ones and those who just finished their last round of treatment, all clad in pink and in a celebratory mood. Even Stuart Mayor Eula Clarke joined in the fun, leading Zumba from the stage before the walk began.
"It's fun to get together with everyone in the community for a good cause," said Tracie Warren of Stuart, who organized a team for Ocean Aveda Salon and was walking with her daughter.
"I think events like these are amazing," said cancer survivor Debra Policino of Port St. Lucie. She joined ACS in their search for a cure in hopes that her children and grandchildren won't have to worry about the disease.
"Each step we're taking today is a step toward finding a cure," Ms. Henks said. "We're making strides against breast cancer, there's no doubt about it."