"You have your ups and downs, but you get support from your friends, your family and you're just so thankful to still be here and to be able to participate in something like this,” said Nancy Rampy, cancer survivor from Washington.
Saturday's race for the cure marked 26 years of being cancer free for Rampy. And it’s the past events that have helped spark a tremendous friendship with other cancer survivors.
"We always look for each other. Always,” said Rampy.
Ten thousand strong turned out for the 29th Annual Susan G-Komen Race For the Cure in Peoria, and breast cancer survivors were given special recognition as they paraded through a sea of supporters.
"Had two different cancers going on at the same time. I'm a survivor of a double mastectomy and chemotherapy,” said Susan Paul, a survivor from Mapleton.
"It's a wake up call. It's a scary thing,” said Candy Lacy, a race supporter.
Carol Walters is a double mastectomy survivor.
"I handled it really well,” she recalled. “I don't want to go through it again, and I don't wish it on anyone else."
But she's also hitting the Peoria streets in memory of her mother and aunt, who she lost in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
"It just gives survivors so much strength and hope...and faith, that everything's going to be okay, and that they're going to beat it,” said Walters.
And as teams line up for loved ones, there is a special energy. That’s true whether they’re beginners or veterans.
"This is our first race ever,” said Lisa Fenwick of East Peoria, who’s running for her friend Barb. “We never really thought about racing before, we donated in the past, of course. But just being here, knowing we're part of her support system and she can always rely on us."
Everyone is working toward that cure for cancer.
"Support her and her mother, and I'm her best friend,” said Angel Bailey of Cuba.
And as they stride together, they're striving for something even bigger.
“I keep hoping for a cure,” said Paul. “I keep hoping my daughter never has to go through this."
Globally, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has 120 races and millions of participants.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.