Close to 2,000 people walked through San Francisco Saturday for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The two-day, 39 mile walk was in its 11th year and just about everyone on the route had a personal reason for taking on this challenge.
“This walk is always in memory of my mom, Kathy Stone, who I love and miss. But I'm walking every year for her, my fourth year and continuing to do it,” said David Stone, of San Francisco.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is a five-year tradition for the women of “Gena's Gang.” The group of ten friends from San Diego was going to cross the finish line that weekend for the first time without a friend and co-worker who succumbed to the disease earlier this year.
“We're walking in memoriam this year. She was able to get across the finish line last year in a wheel chair. This year, she's with us in spirit,” said Marcia Peniche of San Diego.
The walk route takes participants though San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge to Corte Madera and back to the city again. The estimated 2,000 participants this year raised $4.2 million, which would go towards breast cancer research and resources.
“The majority of the money raised here this weekend will stay here in the bay area. Which is nice to know the money they worked so hard to raise is having an effect in their own communities,” said Eloise Caggiano, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer program director.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second-most fatal cancer in women. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about one-in-36 or three percent.
“It's actually very sobering,” said Voncille Williams, a Fremont resident. “When you think about what people are going through and people that are here who haven't even been diagnosed yet that will be.”
On Saturday, Williams, a breast cancer survivor with three disease-free years under her belt, was celebrating the fact that she could the 39 mile walk that weekend to help thousands of women she's never meet overcome a similar battle.
“I feel good, I'm better than I was before,” said Williams.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.