CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands lined up for a Mother's Day walk for a good cause on Sunday.
The 23rd annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk took place in Ridge Park on Chicago's South Side.
Attendees were excited for the 3-mile walk because it was held virtually the past two years due to the COVID pandemic. But on Sunday, they were back in-person.
The walk benefitted the cancer center, comprehensive breast health center and radiology department at OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center.
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"It's a huge event for the community. They enjoy coming out and supporting us, and all of the proceeds go towards OSF Little Company of Mary breast center. So it's a huge walk and celebration of survivors," walk participant Dr. Jilma Patrick said. "I'm really proud of the community, that they're still here supporting us."
She said the walk is also meant to remind people of early detection and to get mammograms.
"We want to diagnose breast cancer earlier because that's where we see the better survival rates," she said.
It allows them to provide state-of-the-art treatment and services to breast cancer patients and their families.
Over $6.5 million has been raised in past years in the fight against breast cancer, and over 12,000 annual walkers attend.
All proceeds from this year's walk will support the expansion of screening and diagnostic mammography facilities in the community.
Rosemary Kade, who lives in Shelton Heights, said she's a survivor of seven years, "oh it's beautiful. Yes, to be alive, it's beautiful right?"
"It feels good, nine years this summer -- cheering, " said Rita Bartak of Tinley Park.
OSF HealthCare region CEO was also in attendance.
"It's a beautiful day for us to continue to get the word out so that we can continue to combat this horrible disease," he said. "The purpose is really around awareness and really making sure that everybody has the ability to get screened early so that if cancer is found, we can find a good treatment option. Talk it up. Talk to your friends and family. Make sure you're having a candid conversation about screening."
Hazel Crest woman Shirley Boykins said she was glad to be there after being hospitalized for COVID.
Beverly Breast Cancer Walk 2022 back in-person on South Side
OSF breast cancer walk supporting expansion of screening and diagnostic mammography facilities
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