Hundreds walk in SF to make strides against breast cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month, and San Francisco showed up Sunday to walk in support of breast cancer survivors, patients and caregivers.

The American Cancer Society's annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k walk returned to Crissy Field in San Francisco Sunday, after taking a one-year hiatus in Emeryville last year. 

With the Golden Gate Bridge in clear view, Crissy Field was transformed into a parade of pink, as several hundred Bay Area community members walked 3.1 miles to fundraise for breast cancer research and show their support to loved ones impacted by breast cancer.

The funds support a variety of services that the American Cancer Society offers to breast cancer patients, such as its Road to Recovery program, which gives patients free rides to treatment appointments. They also offer a Reach to Recovery Program, which is a peer-to-peer support network for breast cancer patients. 

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the largest non-competitive network of breast cancer walks in the nation. 

The American Cancer Society currently invests $76 million in breast cancer research grants. Funds from the 5k contribute to those grants.

Jackie Zaldana of San Francisco walks the annual event year after year along with more than 30 members of her family.

"We all wear the same shirt and we all bring our dogs and kids," Zaldana said, noting that they walk in honor and celebration of her aunt, Anita Santana Reynosa.

The family walks as Team White Butterfly, wearing matching pink shirts with white butterflies that are in the shape of a ribbon. The white butterfly is a symbol of love, says Santana Reynosa. She has beaten breast cancer twice, and beaten the odds her doctor gave her for survival. She's been cancer-free for almost two decades.

"They come with me every year," Santana Reynosa said. "They give me life. They give me strength… happiness…they give me hope."