The rain didn’t stand a chance Sunday morning.
Although it drenched the thousands of runners and walkers who descended upon Union Station for the 21st annual Komen Race for the Cure, the rain failed to dampen their spirits.
“We can all do this, it’s OK,” said Susan Barnett of Independence. Barnett had an aunt who had breast cancer and also has a friend who had a double mastectomy because of breast cancer.
“We are walking for anyone who has it or has it in the future,” she said.
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“It’s a lot easier to come out in the rain than it is to do chemo,” said Amy Walton of Kansas City, North, who was walking with two-year cancer survivor Pattie Phillips of Lee’s Summit and others.
They were walking to help raise money for research and to raise awareness. Walton said her mom didn’t survive breast cancer.
“She battled for eight years, so I guess we can do several miles,” Walton said.
Close to 18,000 participants registered for the race, which included about 1,200 breast cancer survivors.
“Rain or shine, we are racing for the cure,” said Carli Good, executive director of the Greater Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.
The race was expected to raise more than $1 million.
Viola Jones, a six-month cancer survivor from Olathe, said she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February and had surgery in April. She’s now undergoing chemotherapy.
“I’m just excited to be here — to know there is a cure coming my way,” she said. “I want to participate and just run in the race and let everyone know that we can beat this. With God, we can beat this.”
Family and friends surprised one-year-cancer survivor Sandy Deitering of Lawrence by forming a team to honor her.
It wasn’t until she was outside Union Station preparing for the race that she started recognizing people who were not from the area.
They wore black T-shirts with “Team Sandy 2014 Family Edition” written on them.
“They didn’t tell me they were coming,” said Deitering, who didn’t know how many were there. “I’ll be counting them later.”
They came from all over — mostly from Iowa, but also from Dallas, Oklahoma, Phoenix and Chattanooga.
“Cancer is something that only you really can go through,” she said. “When you’re getting your treatments, it’s just you. You’re feeling it. You’re experiencing it. When you step out and see this kind of support of your family, it’s like, ‘No, I’m not alone.’”
To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to email@example.com.