Komen 3-Day walk wraps up in Chicago for last time

August 11, 2013 3:38:00 PM PDT
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for breast cancer ended Sunday with a closing ceremony at Soldier Field. After 10 years, it was the last time the event was held in the Chicago area.

For many, this walk is a celebration of life. Liz Goldman is a 10-year breast cancer survivor.

"The support, the encouragement, the empowerment. There aren't words. It's fabulous," said Liz Goldman, breast cancer survivor.

The stories of those taking part in this year's 3-day walk here are not only similar but special.

Just ask Seattle native Stephanie Buxel-Florenzen. She's hoping her third walk will give her the courage to confront a possible breast cancer diagnosis.

"This year I'm really walking for myself. I've had a lump, it's been there and after I had my son, it became a concern. And it's been a fear of mine to get it removed," said Stephanie Buzel-Florenzen.

Both survivors and their supporters crossed the walk's finish line at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon knowing it will be for the last time. The walk's 60-mile trek began for hundreds in Northbrook on Friday.

"This is the last year in Chicago, it's my sixth walk. It's very emotional not being able to do it here again. This is where I started, this is where I finished," said Michelle Williams, walk participant.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation canceled its signature event here and in six other cities next year. The announcement came after the organization experienced a backlash over its decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for screenings.

The decision was later reversed. The prominent breast cancer charity cites a drop in participation for over the past few years as the reason.

It didn't look that way at the walk's Montrose Park cheering station. That's where John Shinar, who lost his wife Martha to breast cancer last summer, says he still plans to walk the remaining events.

"These three days, all these people, they bring her back to me," said John Shinar, co-survivor.

Organizers say they want everyone to know that the Komen Race for the Cure, a different event, is not cancelled.

That will continue in Lombard September 22.

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