Thousands turn out for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Thousands raised money and awareness for breast cancer research, screening and treatment with every step they took Saturday morning during the 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Kimberly Whitman is a survivor and said early detection helped save her life.

"It was no where on my radar to even go in. I had not had a mammogram in about seven years. So I'm one of those people who went in because I heard of somebody else going in and finding out they had cancer. And so I went in just to get the all clear and wound up being one of those that was diagnosed," said Whitman.

But now she's healthy, and participated in the race with her daughter and a friend. They're among the 10,000 people who came out for the cause.

"It's important to me because I'm a breast cancer survivor, my mother is, my grandmother passed away - she had breast cancer. And I've got girlfriends that are dealing with breast cancer right now," said Rhonda Eberl, a surivor.

Brett Coulter ran to support a teacher at Maryville High School who is battling breast cancer.

"It's a great team effort for the school and our school has gotten behind her, we've raised money through shirts, we've raised money through towels," said Coulter.

Organizers said 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. And while less common, men suffer, too. The race raises money to help those affected locally.

"75 percent of the funds we raise stays here locally in our 16 county service area to provide screening, treatment support and educational programs," said Amy Dunaway, director of marketing and fundraising for Komen Knoxville.

She said that's important because if caught early, survival rates are 99 percent.

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