Grace Carter and fellow cancer survivor Leah Freeman joined thousands of people in pink Sunday at the Capitol for the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
“As a survivor, it’s just the satisfaction of knowing that I’m just here another year … The walk energizes me, the walk gives me hope, it gives me courage,” said Carter.
Like many survivors and families dealing with breast cancer now, these women find comfort in their community.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment for me. It’s saying one more year. And then the people that are dealing with it right now, they look at you and they go, ‘oh she’s a survivor. How many years?’ They’ll come up to you, congratulations, and when you say hey, it’s been almost 14 years for me. They go wow. Hey, I can do it too. I’m on year one. But if she can go 14 years, then I can go 14 years,” said Freeman.
Freeman was just 27 when she was diagnosed, a young mom, and from a family marred by breast cancer tragedy.
“I lost my mother and both grandmothers, and two aunts, so this is great for me,” Freeman said.
A history that is all too familiar among the women at the walk.
“That’s why it’s so important for us to raise the funds for research that will find a cure for this because that’s what really the end game is about,” said Laura Tyrrell, another survivor and volunteer for the walk.
Until then, it’s the support found in events like this that help women like Leah.
“It’s fun to be able to encourage somebody else, and at the same time they are encouraging me,” Freeman said.