'You can get through it.' Making Strides walk in Westport raises fund for breast cancer research

Thousands took part Sunday at the 29th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Sherwood Island State Park.
The strong turnout only represents a tiny fraction of the estimated 290,000 women and men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
“I've got two step-kids, so for me to not be around wasn't an option,” two-time breast cancer survivor Carri Shapiro said. “You’ve just got to fight through it.”
“My mother was diagnosed three years ago, she beat it,” said Margaret Judge, of Bridgeport. “To see all these people come together with their stories and their love and their courage, it's just inspiring.”
Organizers say events like this have made a tangible difference - breast cancer deaths are down, and they say now is a time for hope.
“My mom died of the disease, and I can tell you from when I went through it 13 years ago, and then I went through it again three years ago, the treatments are vastly different,” Shapiro said. “There is definite hope. You can get through it.”
Organizers aimed to raise $200,000 from the event, which goes toward research, the 24/7 helpline and outreach.
“Continue to get your mammograms, ladies, no matter what,” Judge urged. “Even if you don't feel anything, that's the biggest thing.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the mission never stops.
“All year round, we think pink,” Schuka said. “But seeing all the people that are here to support what we're doing, and the people in their lives that it's affecting, is moving.”
“It gives me hope that at some point, no one will ever have to hear the words ‘you have breast cancer’ again,” said Shapiro.