Thousands Race for the Cure in Balboa Park - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Thousands Race for the Cure in Balboa Park

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The weather was perfect Sunday morning as 13,000 runners decked out in pink and took over Balboa Park for the 18th Annual Komen Race for the Cure.

Along the 3.1 mile trek there were signs of hope, encouragement and inspiration.

"And I lost my mother eight years ago, and I'm walking for the cure now,” said Gaylene Henderson.

While many are here for those who can't be, others took part for themselves, including Alma Martinez who has beaten breast cancer twice.

"I did what I had to do to survive. It was really hard for me, but all you have to do is just keep on going and be strong,” said Martinez.

Survivors like Martinez were honored before Sunday's race during an emotional ceremony. Also during the ceremony, Lorraine Hutchinson shared her experience. The San Diego Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012, just four months after she found out she had diabetes.

"With the help of God, my support network, my doctors, I was able to fight cancer and win,” said Hutchinson.

CBS News 8's Barbara-Lee Edwards also spoke. CBS News 8 is a proud sponsor of the race for the cure.

Since it began 18 years ago, the event has raised $15 million, providing mammograms and other health services for those who can't afford it.

"If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she should have to worry about how much money is in her pocket,” said Laura Farmer Sherman with Komen Race for the Cure. “She should be focused on her health. But for 38 percent of San Diegans that's not the case."

And that's why it's so important that with every step taken, it's one closer to finding a cure.

Organizers say about $1.3 million was raised during Sunday's race. Komen representatives say 75 cents of every dollar raised stays in San Diego and none is used for overhead costs.

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