Hundreds brave the rain to raise money for breast cancer research, celebrate survivors

Sunday morning's rain didn't stop hundreds of people from showing up for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Crissy Field. 

The two-mile walk is a celebration of the strength of breast cancer survivors, and a way to raise money to help prevent, find and treat the disease.  

Participants create teams, walking with friends and family in honor of the people in their lives fighting cancer. 

"I urge people to get their mammograms on time and if they know that it runs in their family they should get tested right away, even in their 30s," said Meredith Majino. 

Majino was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. She said fortunately it was caught early enough that it could be removed with surgery. 

"I do feel lucky, sometimes I feel like I don’t have a right to be so upset because there are other people who have it worse," she said. 

The event creates a community of support around those fighting the disease. Survivors wear sashes and receive flowers as they cross the finish line. 

"This is really a community and a movement. We have thousands of people out today who really just need that support, sometimes they want to know that they’re not in it alone," said Olivia Catanio with the Bay Area Cancer Society. 

A big group of employees from Oakland's Seventh Street Post Office walked together for the fourth year in a row. Their team captain, Jackie Lee, is a breast cancer survivor. 

"My heart is full, my heart is full. I love it, I love them walking with me, and there are no words," said Lee.

But while this is a celebration, the reality is that many people don't survive. And more funding is needed in order to find a way to end breast cancer as we know it. 

"She was 36, she has a husband and two very young kids, and we miss her so much," said Nancy Larosa, speaking about her best friend Glenda Lainez, who died of breast cancer in 2001.

Lainez's family held a poster with a photo of her as they walked. 

At the time the race started, the walk had raised $215,000 for the Bay Area Cancer Society, almost at its goal of $250,000.

"Our funds support our three main areas: advocacy, research and patient support," Catanio said. "We’re actually the only organization that integrates all of those things into our effort to fight cancer. Today’s fundraising efforts will all go to support breast cancer specifically, and to help minimize cancer incidents and help improve mortality rates."