BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Every year this time, Western New Yorkers honor those who have been touched by breast cancer. This year thousands took to Canalside to raise money to try to find a cure.
Rachel and Maranella Lis from Kenmore said, “We’re walking for our Grandma Hannah.” Rachel said, “Where does Grandma Hannah live? She lives in heaven, right?”
At just three years old Maranella learns about her great grandmother Hannah. Although she doesn’t quite understand why she’s gone, she puts a pinwheel in the ground in her honor.
Desiree Radford from Buffalo said, “My mom came through this twice and I’ll get through it.”
For Radford and her mom Irene, cancer runs in their family. Irene Sanders is a two-time cancer survivor. Desiree has been cancer free for two years now.
She learned how to fight from her mom. Sanders said, “Be positive about it, don’t claim it, just fight and keep going. Don’t sit down on it because that’s how you die, and if you keep moving and getting along you’ll get through it better without the stress and worry.”
Radford said, “It makes you re examine life and the things that you put off you stop putting those things off and you actually do them. You know, tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.”
We know breast cancer affects the entire family. Now, Radford’s daughter, 11-year-old Na’ima Flores looks around Canalside, and knows she can help other kids her age.
Flores said, “I remember when my mom told me she had breast cancer, I thought she was going to die. I was scared for her but I was scared for my brothers and sisters.”
she said, “I know how the other kids feel, so I feel happy they’re all here supporting their mothers and fathers.”
For Sandra Hartman- a 9 year survivor- her mom Hilda was 82 when she passed away from breast cancer. It’s been 4 years, and her family says Hilda keeps everyone together even today.
Hartman said, “It’s just really nice were remembering mom but they’re all supporting me too.”
Since 1993, more than 12 million Making Strides supporters have raised more than $750 million nationwide. This year the walk raised $492,000 and had 15,000 walkers participate.
For more information, visit their website here.