WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Thousands of people from across central Wisconsin came together to join in the fight against breast cancer on Sunday.
Central Wisconsin's 5th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure kicked off. It was held at Wausau's 400 block. Almost 2,000 racers laced up for the good cause. Organizers say it's important to raise awareness about the disease and what better way to do it than getting together to celebrate those who have battled it.
"Breast cancer is one of top cancers and so many people are effected here. We have so many more survivors signed up this year than previous years that we can tell people are really excited about being here," said Race Co-Chair Amanda Patterson.
Money raised goes toward breast cancer programs. Organizers say, so far, they've raised about $160,000 this year. They say all that money stays right here in central Wisconsin.
Among the thousands of people were so many stories of survival. For one central Wisconsin woman, she says today's event is a place to find support.
On Sunday morning you could find Kim LePine walking with the people who make her strong.
“We gotta get walking ladies, let's go!" said LePine.
Her journey began in February 2012 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It was devastating because I lost my mom to breast cancer so it was always in the back of my mind," explained LePine.
LePine underwent treatment after treatment. It was a challenge she says she'd never expected to face.
“It's been a journey, but a good journey,” said LePine.
This October will mark two years cancer free. LePine says she couldn't have done it without her support system.
“As long as you stick with you support system, and you have a support system, that's the most important part,” said LePine.
So now, she walks alongside thousands of others who know her struggle all too well.
“You have to really stay positive and just enjoy what you got because you don't know, you don't know,” said LePine.
Organizers of the Susan G. Komen race say that's why events like this are so important.
"It's being able to recognize the journey's they've gone through with their battles with cancer,” said Patterson.
For LePine, her journey is far from over. Just ask her husband.
“It's been two years and we're very grateful. We're going on another 30 or 40,” said Tony LePine.
Organizers say they are accepting donations through the end of September. So, you still have time to donate if you haven't already.