Annual Rays of Hope Walk and Run kicks off its 25th year

Hampden County

Ray of Hope celebrated the 25th anniversary of their annual walk and run in Springfield this morning. 

Springfield’s annual Rays of Hope Walk and Run first stepped off in 1994.

25 years and 24,000 participants later, The Rays of Hope Walk & Run  continues to support women through their breast cancer journey from diagnosis through surgery to recovery and beyond. A journey women of all ages are going through.

22News spoke with Crystal Whitley, a Springfield resident whose 18 year old daughter was diagnosed with a rare type of tumor, “We have another friend who just turned 18 who’s going through the same thing. I want people to know that young people need to be aware of this, it’s not just an older adult thing.”

This event is filled with breast cancer survivors as well as friends and family members who have been impacted by this disease, and as you can tell by the thousands of people here they’re never alone in this battle.

Despite the chilly weather tens of thousands of people came by the bus load to walk and meet new people who are on the same journey.

Kathy Renaud, a Westfield resident told said “I’ll walk up to anyone and talk about breast cancer, any type of cancer. I’ll hug them and tell them we’re all family it doesn’t matter where you’re from what race you are we’re all family, cancer impacts everybody.”

Longmeadow resident and winner of NBC’s The Voice Brynn Cartelli sang at the event.

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