Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk steps out across Milwaukee's Lakefront

NOW: Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk steps out across Milwaukee’s Lakefront

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- About 4,000 people participated in the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 9 and CBS 58's Natalie Shepherd was on-hand as emcee of the event. 

It's estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year, which means millions of families are impacted. Some breast cancer survivors at the walk say the amount of love and warmth they felt Sunday morning makes all the difference.

In the sea of pink were many breast cancer survivors, including Tiffany Dotson-Johnson, who was diagnosed in 2009.

"It was a big shocker for me as well as my family. I was just devastated. I was devastated, I was hurt, confused. Even though I knew about breast cancer, it never affected me or my family, so I didn't pay much attention to it so around that time when I got diagnosed, I felt the world came crashing down on me," she said.

Businesses, individuals, and the Milwaukee Fire Department joined in on the cause, showing their support.

Milwaukee Fire Department Chief Aaron Lipski said it was important for him to support breast cancer awareness as he has family members diagnosed. For the Fire Department, he said it was an easy connection for them and the community,

"Firefighters suffer rates of cancer at a rate far higher than the average civilian. There's a rate of a simpatico relationship between firefighters and women and people who have suffered from breast cancer as a result of that."

"It's personal, don't know anyone that breast cancer hasn't touched their lives in some way. It's one of those things that I just got behind after seeing family members go through it. It can be tough. So, it's my way of giving back," said Bailey Coleman, breast cancer advocate and co-host of the More Than Pink Walk.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised at the Milwaukee breast cancer walks, which in turn have helped even more women going through this difficult journey.

Nikki Panico, the Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Wisconsin is no stranger to breast cancer. She said she lost her mother and aunt within one month of each other. That same year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a club that you want anyone to join. That's for sure. I was very lucky, with quality healthcare, access to the best doctors, and a supportive family and I know many do not have that," she explained.

The money raised through Milwaukee's More Than Pink Walk stays right here in Southeast Wisconsin, helping other women in their fight against breast cancer.

With all the love, still comes the reminder from Dotson-Johnson, "Make sure you're getting your checks, even if it doesn't run in your family - get your checks. Do your own self-breast exams, talk to your doctors, get your self-checks, your breast checks. Early detection saves lives. It saved mine."

"When you come out here and see this amazing group of people it's wonderful. It really does your heart good," said Coleman.
Organizers say they hoped to fundraise $350,000 and they're just short of that goal. Click here to help. 

Resources for those impacted by breast cancer:
The Susan G. Komen Helpline: Call 1-877-465-6636 or email [email protected]

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