Thousands take part in local breast cancer awareness walks

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Thousands of people dressed up in pink across South Florida, Saturday, as they walked for a cure for breast cancer.

In Fort Lauderdale, participants counted down to the start of the annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” one of two walks that took place in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Local survivors at the event organized by the American Cancer Society were joined by family, friends and supporters who all donned shades of pink.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., herself a cancer survivor, was there to support the cause along with the event’s emcee, 7 meteorologist Vivian Gonzalez.

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The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino also showed support, and made a $50,000 donation to the American Cancer Society. “On behalf of the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino, we want to recognize you and thank you for your service,” said Seminole Hard Rock spokesperson Susan Rennisen. “Thank you all for coming out today.”

Attendees enjoyed the event, while also focusing on the importance of getting checked out early and often. “Early detection is super important,” said Dr. Marcelo Blaya from Memorial Regional Hospital. “Raising awareness and telling everybody to get their mammograms, to get checked, to learn how to do self-breast exams, to visit their doctors, this is really, really important.”

Claudia Glass
Claudia Glass

Breast cancer survivor Claudia Glass credited early detection with her ability to beat the disease. “I was diagnosed early, which is also another program. They do early mammograms, or getting people out to mammograms and paying for them,” she said. “Because of my early diagnosis and some intense chemo, I was able to be cured.”

A sea of pink took over the streets of Miami as well on Saturday. Another familiar face, 7’s Alex de Armas, emceed a cancer walk at Marlins Park.

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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as thousands more South Floridians showed their support in the fight against breast cancer.

Last year, the South Florida events raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research.

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