WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - More than 2,000 participants woke up early Saturday morning to participate in Wilmington's inaugural Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
The competitive race started at 8:30 and a walk started at 8:45.
"It doesn't matter what stage you are in, once you get diagnosed with cancer, it changes everything," said survivor Angela Smock.
Participants came out for different reasons; some were survivors, others had watched family members battle cancer.
"For me, the cure for my nieces and my nephews is critical," said Smock. "I don't want anyone to have to go through what I did."
"I didn't survive cancer to lay in bed and die," said Smock. "I want to participate."
Organizers say bringing the national event to Wilmington was necessary, arguing that the breast cancer rate for eastern North Carolina is 11 percent higher than for the rest of the state.
They say they were surprised so many people showed up Saturday, and many survivors agreed.
"It was moving," said Vucci. "It's awesome to see so many people coming together -- the survivors, the family members, the sponsors...just pink everywhere is spreading awareness."
While the race took place, portions of several roads were blocked off in downtown Wilmington, but all of them were expected to open back up by noon.
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