Race for the Cure: Why thousands show their support

Thousands of Arkansans signed up for the annual Komen Race for the Cure in Little Rock. Saturday marked the city's 19th race.

"When this organization started you couldn't say the word breast in mixed company and now everyone talks about breast cancer and breast health and breasts," Said Sherrye McBryde, Executive Director of Arkansas Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen, it's a name that almost everyone is familiar with. It's an organization with a cause that most people know about either through a loved one.

"I'm here to honor my best friend Terry Kellum Flowers. She past away of breast cancer. She found out in July 10 and past away September 10th, 2010," said Kathleen Johnson.

Or through personal experience.

"There was something that didn't look right so within just a matter of weeks I found out I had cancer," said Sonjia Helms, a breast cancer survivor.

Almost 40,000 women died of the disease just last year. McBryde says it is the main reason why so many people come out to support the cause.

"There's so many women who do get this disease 1 in 8 so everyone knows someone who's had breast cancer," said McBryde.

But she also credits the large turnout to the awareness the organization has raised since 1982.

"We have one lady who comes to the race every year and she holds up a sign that says you saved my life," said McBryde.

Awareness for early detection, loss, and survival are all reasons why tens of thousands of Arkansans hit the streets of downtown every year.

"I'm three years out and it's a wonderful feeling," said Helms.

The race starts tomorrow morning at eight at the intersection of Broadway and 2nd Street.