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Orange County Race for the Cure draws thousands

September 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A wave of pink kicked off the 22nd annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Newport Beach on Sunday.

The biggest fundraising event in Orange County for breast cancer drew an estimated 25,000 participants, including about 1,000 breast cancer survivors.

For many participants, the cause is one that hits close to home.

"It's been an experience," said Tina Vanzanten, who has breast cancer. "I started off a very vain person. I had my hair stripped from me, eyebrows and eyelashes all gone."

"My mom is a 45-year survivor, so she's my inspiration," said Lisa Maher, a breast cancer survivor. "Every year we've walked, and it gets better each year."

"It makes me cry every time I come. It's just so emotional to see all these people knowing that you're not alone and you have all their support," said Cindy Holmes, a breast cancer survivor.

It's support made all too obvious by friends and family at the finish line. Our own Eyewitness News team was there to support the cause, including anchor Michelle Tuzee. ABC7 Orange County bureau chief Eileen Frere was the mistress of ceremonies.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. More than 39,000 women die from the disease yearly in the U.S.

The money raised through the event helps support local breast health outreach, mammography for women in need and treatment services to underserved women in the community.

ABC7 is a sponsor of the event.