SAN ANTONIO – More than a race, the five kilometers and the sideline cheers are the fuel for fighters and survivors of breast cancer. The 22nd Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure drew thousands of people dressed in pink to raise awareness and funds for local services.
Major milestones were also proudly and deservedly displayed with costumes, T-shirts and signs.
Ilse Collins began working on her sign last year as a manifestation for what was to come. Today, surrounded by her daughter and granddaughters, Collins celebrated 40 years of being breast cancer-free.
"Whenever I see someone give her a hug and people (who) want to be just like her, it's so powerful," said Illisa Garcia, a member of Collins' family. "I'm so proud of her for everything she has done."
Fighters and survivors have much more than their disease in common. They say they wouldn't be where they are today without their families and support systems.
At today's finish line, one family in particular stood out. A group of cousins who call themselves the Magnificent 7 each held a pink flower to surprise one of their own.
"We just had to come and surprise her because we love her," said older brother Leo Rios.
Sally Rios is celebrating 25 years as a breast cancer survivor.
Sally never thought they'd be here today.
"It means the world," said Sally. "I'm tired but God blessed me."
There were also fighters like Bianca Castoreno, who cheered from the sidelines.
Castoreno was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2015. She was given one year to live.
"I just knew God wasn't done with me yet," said Castoreno. "Here I am four years later, and God still isn't done with me yet."
She's in remission and is certain she'll be able to one day run -- and received a flower of her own.
According to organizers, today marks the last Race for the Cure as we know it. An event is expected to take place in 2020, however no additional details have been provided.