'Race for the Cure' held in downtown Jacksonville

Thousands turn out to event at Metropolitan Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - One in eight: That's how many women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

It's a troubling statistic and one that had thousands lacing up early Saturday morning to raise awareness and more importantly, raise money to find a cure.

Thousands of men and women turned out at Metropolitan Park hoping the 3 miles they logged at the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" put them one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer.

"I'm just encouraging everybody to make sure to go and get your mammograms done, get your self checked, check yourself in the shower, lay on your bed," said Mishaun Palmer. "It's simple, it's easy, just go get checked."

"This is my fourth time now and I've loved it every time," said Michael Chapman, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor.

The Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" is an annual event that draws as many unique stories and pink-themed ensembles.

For Mariah Vartanian, it's a day spent honoring the special women in her life who've been touched by the disease.

My grandma had breast cancer and she passed away when she was 62, and I have a lot of co-workers also that are battling the disease, so I decided to come out and support it for the last six years," said Vartanian.

For vendors at the event, it's also an opportunity to educate runners and walkers about prevention and early detection.

"We have a radiologist that's coming out, and we're talking about surveillance, mammograms and MRI's," said Christina Vogel, co-founder of GRACE: Genetic Risk Awareness of Cancer Early.

As one racer after another made their way back to Metropolitan Park, they crossed the finish line with renewed hope that our world will one day be breast cancer free.

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