PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinoisans supported and raised money for breast cancer research at the 38th annual Susan G. Komen “More than Pink Walk” Saturday morning.

More than $200,000 was raised and will go towards cutting-edge research and supporting patients going through treatment.

Helene Peterson was the top donor raising more than $12,000. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2022 and had surgery to remove her tumor in January.

“My sons sent out to their fraternity brothers. They went to Bradley, and I was the townie mom and these guys all started sending donations in and notes, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a gift too.’ Plus my friends and family, I have some very supportive family, and they’ve just been amazing in their donations,” said Peterson.

She said she has participated in walks before, but participating as a breast cancer survivor brings a whole new meaning.

” I hope someday there will be a world without breast cancer. And in Susan Komen’s hometown, that makes it more special,” Peterson said.

Susan G. Komen passed away in 1980 from breast cancer and was born and raised in Peoria.

“There’s something special about Peoria, we are Suzie’s hometown. We are her sister Nancy Brinker’s hometown, and it was their promise made between those two sisters that started this whole movement and really started the whole breast cancer movement,” said Susan G. Komen Development Manager Jordan Clum.