Massive ‘Making Strides’ walk packs a pink punch

Tiffany Coleman, Dani Pulido, Jayna Beck, and Brenda Lloyd [Photo: Denise Ritchie]

A river of pink flowed through Riverside Park as thousands of participants made a statement of support for breast cancer survivors at Indian River County’s 15th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. From pink tutus to bedazzled bra-bedecked T-shirts, the Power of Pink was on full display.

“We’re expecting about 4,000 people,” said Karen Aiello, American Cancer Society senior community development manager. “The Vero walk is the second largest on the Treasure Coast, second only to Martin County.”

“We have a better crowd than normal because of great community support. It’s just nice to see all these members of the community together, young and old,” said Laura McGarry, MSABC event lead for Indian River County, adding that they hoped to raise $140,000.

“We have until the end of the year to make it,” said McGarry. “The money goes toward research and to helping survivors. People are often reluctant to talk about having breast cancer. But one woman came up to me and said she had come last year and was inspired after seeing everyone else. She was now feeling more like a survivor.”

“It’s important for me to be together with other survivors and to celebrate life,” said Lin Reading, founder of the support group Friends After Diagnosis. “We just share a special, strong sisterhood. Every woman, and man, diagnosed with breast cancer goes through things only each other can understand.”

Interspersed in the crowd were the 13 Real Men Wear Pink contributors who have stepped up to raise awareness and funds.

“It’s sort of a competition for them,” said McGarry, adding that group has until the end of October to raise their goal of $36,000.

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Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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