South Florida lacing up to make strides against breast cancer

(WSVN) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and thousands are lacing up to make strides for a cure.

The American Cancer Society’s Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk will be taking place this weekend. Meteorologist Vivan Gonzalez and 7News’s Alex de Armas will be in attendance, joining the community for a good cause.

A sea of pink will be flooding the streets of South Florida Saturday morning, as the color has become a symbol of hope.

“There is a lot of hope, joy and celebration at these type of events, and I think those are the kind of things that help to fuel me in my continuing journey,” said breast cancer survivor Eileen Lopeztome, “and I think it fuels all of survivors.”

People battling the disease, survivors and supporters will be hitting the pavement in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

“It just feels like we’re all coming together for a common cause, you know,” said Lopeztome, “in fighting so that no one has to hear those words again, ‘You have breast cancer.'”

These are words Lopeztome knows all too well.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016,” she said

After undergoing chemotherapy and a mastectomy, the mother of five is now cancer free.

“I want to share my story to help other people take care of themselves and prioritize their health,” she said. “That’s something I didn’t do for a number of years. About four years passed between my mammogram and the time I was diagnosed.”

Taking time to get yourself checked is a necessity in detecting the disease, according to Dr. Erica Bloomquist, an oncologist at Memorial Regional Hospital’s Breast Cancer Center.

“For women getting a mammogram every year, starting at the age of 40 is an extremely important part of awareness,” said Bloomquist.

Both Bloomquist and Lopeztome will be attending stride events this weekend.

“We’re out there together to help raise awareness for women to get their mammograms and also celebrate the lives of women who have had breast cancer, have recovered from it and to celebrate those who didn’t,” said Bloomquist.

7News is a proud sponsor of the event. Vivian Gonzalez will be at the Broward walk at Huizenga Plaza in Fort Lauderdale, while Alex will be at the Miami-Dade walk at Marlins Park.

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