"It's a sisterhood:" Thousands come together to raise money for breast cancer research

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and on Sunday, September 21st, those who have been affected by breast cancer came together along Milwaukee's Lakefront for the 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Linnea Harrington has been affected by breast cancer. She was one of thousands taking part in Milwaukee's Race for the Cure.

"It`s a sisterhood that I really never wanted to be a part of, but now that I am, I`m embracing it and I just love, I love the camaraderie," Harrington said.

Harrington was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 34. This year, 75 of her friends and family members joined her for the Race for the Cure.

"The women that I met through this, it`s -- you can`t even describe the feeling. It`s amazing," Harrington said.

Milwaukee's Race for the Cure began 16 years ago with 500 participants. This year, well over 10,000 people took part in the event -- which included a 5K run or one-mile walk.

"It`s wonderful to see such community support. It`s so touching," breast cancer survivor Nikki Panico said.

Panico helped to organize the race. She lost her mother and aunt to breast cancer.

"Within the same year I was diagnosed, so it absolutely hits close to home. It`s more than just a job. This is a real mission, personal mission for me," Panico said.

The Race for the Cure raises hundreds of thousands of dollar each year in the fight against breast cancer.

"75% of the money we raise today goes into the community. This year alone we`ve granted $840,000 to eight organizations right here in southeastern Wisconsin. The other 25% goes directly to research," Panico said.

Panico says the annual event is more than just a fundraiser.

"I hope this day gives women hope and empowerment and joy," Panico said.

Since the Race for the Cure began in Milwaukee, the southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has granted $8.6 million to breast cancer research and treatment.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the southeastern Wisconsin branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the Race for the Cure event.