30th Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raises awareness in Westchester
The American Cancer Society hosted its 30th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Westchester County Walk on Sunday.
Around 15,000 people participated in the walk, which took place at Manhattanville College. A spokesperson from the American Cancer Society said the Westchester County walk is the sixth highest-grossing Making Strides walk in the country. They predicted that this year's walk raised around $900,000 for breast cancer research, advocacy, education and patient services.
Many of the participants were once patients who fought cancer in the past, like Tanita Hairston.
"I've been walking for about five or six years now. I am a two-time breast cancer survivor," Hairston said. "I had a lumpectomy, a double mastectomy, and a TRAM flap surgery."
Hairston said she's been in remission for about six years now and attended this walk with her daughter.
Breast cancer survivor Shannon Henrici also attended the walk with her family. She said she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at 31 years old. She's now sharing her story to inspire other young people to get screened for breast cancer as early as they can.
"I encourage all women to get a mammogram early. If you can get it while you're young, don't wait [until] you're 40... Do it as early as your doctor is willing to do it," Henrici said.
Erica Bonime also advocated for getting screened when you can. She's a 22-year survivor and has been attending the walk for over 20 years. She flew in all the way from Arizona to cut the ribbon that kicked off the walk.
"I don't live here anymore. This is my walk and this is my day. I'm here with a friend of mine that I grew up with...He said 'I'm so happy I'm walking with you and not with your name on my back," Bonime said.
Bonime offered these words of encouragement to anyone currently fighting Breast Cancer: "If you stay positive and you do what the doctors tell you to do and you just take each day one day at a time, you're going to make it to the other end."