LUBBOCK, Texas- The Susan G. Komen West Texas Race for the Cure has helped bring hope to two survivors during their breast cancer journey. The Race funds research, survivor services, outreach, education and progress to end breast cancer.
Susie Smith is the honorary chairman for the Race for the Cure. She started volunteering when her twin daughters were in junior high, not knowing she would be diagnosed with breast cancer is 2015.
"For many years we blew up the pink balloons that the survivors released and things like that, never knowing that it would impact our lives later on," said Smith.
She says the race is now an opportunity for her to help others that are on the journey and give others support.
"It's for the hope to watch those pink balloons be released on race day," said Smith.
The race allows survivors and families to unite, encourage, and support each other as allies.
"They really feel the comradery and the support and just the excitement that morning of the hope and a future, some things that are not necessarily what you feel in the middle of your breast cancer journey," said Libby Linker, Susan G. Komen West Texas Development Director.
Princess Nelson has been volunteering for the Race for the Cure since 2014 and beat stage three cancer that same year. She says it isn't just about the race, but the experience along the 3.1 miles.
"There is someone we know who fought the battle and won, some that didn't make it, but just to be there and love on each other, that's what I like, I love that part," said Nelson.
Nelson doesn't have any family in Lubbock, but she finds many encouragers who have become family.
"There were those that would literally sit with me during chemo treatments and ask 'do you need anything, do you want anything?' There were times I didn't want anything, but found things on my porch," said Nelson.
"When you're diagnosed you feel like you're almost by yourself, you know you're not, but it's effecting you and to know that there is a support system out there of women who are two, five, ten years out that can talk to you and can say I've been there, I know what you're going through, here's what you need to do, that helps," said Smith.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised that the Race stays in West Texas. It provides for hospitals, cancer centers, and services for patients and their families. The rest goes directly to research nationwide.
If you can't make the race on Saturday click here to donate and support the fight against breast cancer.