Thousands walk in SF for Susan G. Komen Foundation

October marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month, and in San Francisco, more than 2,000 Bay Area residents participated in the Susan G. Komen "More Than Pink" Walk on Sunday. The walk brings support to breast cancer research, care, and advocacy.

The annual walk was held this year at the San Francisco Zoo. 

Participants walked 6,000 steps, keeping track on a More Than Pink Walk app on their phones. They went at their own pace, the exploring the zoo with family and friends.

"Today's walk is first and foremost about the community," Megan Klink, the regional vice president for Susan G. Komen's west region said. "We are so happy after all this time apart to be able to come together and really to show folks who are going through breast cancer right now that you do not have to do it alone. Its also an opportunity to honor those we've lost, to provide support to family and friends, and come together as a community."

Jacqueline Gatewood and Madelyn McMillian, two cousins from San Francisco, both breast cancer survivors, came to the walk dressed head to toe in pink, Susan G. Komen's signature color.

"We're supporting each other!" McMillian said as she hugged Gatewood. Both of them have participated in past breast cancer walks hosted by other organizations. This was their first time at the More Than Pink Walk.

The walk aims to remind people that early detection through mammograms can save lives. Last year, two days before participating in the More than Pink Walk, Nancy Morse, 61, was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

"It was kind of surreal, shock and disbelief of course," Morse said. "Like a lot of women, I had missed doing it because of Covid, so I was about two years behind. Surprised I got the diagnosis, didn't think I would be the one getting that call."

Morse had an early diagnosis, and got treatment immediately, This year, she's cancer free and part of team CoreNet, that's fund raised more than $30,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation this year. 

"In total, Sunday's walk aimed to raise $300,000 to support critical breast cancer research, access to quality screenings, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as patient support, including childcare and transportation services while a patient is undergoing treatment. 

"It will help someone to get to a doctor's appointment, childcare, sometimes even just learning how to put on makeup you know when you’re feeling kind of down because you have lost all your hair due to chemotherapy," McMillian said. "It is very supportive."