WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 09, 2010, 08:06 AM

Hundreds walk for breast cancer awareness on Mother's Day

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for women. The fight to find a cure is a daily struggle. In honor of Mother's Day, more than 500 people took part in a Breast Cancer Walk in Fargo.

The third annual walk is put on by the YMCA. Walkers went on a three mile route, starting at West Acres, and then going to Y-West, and back. The walk raised more than 10-thousand dollars.

Half for the North Dakota chapter of the Susan G. Komen fund, the rest to the Y for a new support area for survivors to rehabilitate.

“Places like Susan G. Komen and with the YMCA, it's not only finding a cure, but helping those people. So once we find a cure, it's just going to be continuing on to find better things for people who are diagnosed with this disease.”

Every year, nearly 200-thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Within that massive group, a mother-daughter each battled cancer multiple times, and the disease has taken the lives of many of their loved ones. Every year, the women walk together for a cure.

You might think a woman who has battled cancer twice, lost five family members to the disease, and watched her daughter fight it three times would feel defeated, but there's a fire inside Gabriella Danielson that refuses to go out until there's a cure.

“From my generation on, we intend to kick its butt instead of letting it kick ours.”

Every year, Gabriella and Kim walk together, trying to help raise money to find a cure, and raise awareness of an all too familiar disease. The women say the key to victory is knowledge and not having an attitude that it won't happen to you.

“But you know what, it does. It happens when you don't expect it, no matter what point and time you're at in your life. And if you catch it early enough, you have a better chance.”

After fighting cancer multiple times, the mother and daughter say it doesn't get any easier, just more familiar and has turned the women into fighters.

“I've been more empowered since I beat this than ever before in my life.”

Both agree cancer is the best and worst thing to ever happen to them, allowing them to live life like never before.

“It makes you appreciate every day, and it gives you permission to laugh when you want to laugh, and cry when you want to cry, and not to make excuses for the things that you do; to just live your life to the fullest.”

“Kind of gives you a new lease on life and you realize, you know what, just be happy with your life. Live each day to the fullest because you don't know what tomorrow brings.”

The only other thing both of these mothers could ask for on this special day is a cure and to never have walks like this again. More men took part in this year's walk. Organizers say that's because of increased awareness the disease doesn't just affect women.

A 5K walk in the Twin Cities brought out about 50 thousand men, women, and children. It raised awareness, celebrated survivors, and honored those who have died from breast cancer. The 18th annual Race for the Cure raised 2.5 million dollars. 75 percent of those proceeds go to uninsured and underinsured women with breast cancer throughout the state.