Survivors unite for 28th annual Rays of Hope Walk

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The ‘Rays of Hope Walk and Run Toward the Cure for Breast Cancer’ was held on Sunday in Springfield.

A parade of cars full of breast cancer survivors and their supporters came together to support each other during the 28th annual walk.

Lucy Giuggio Carvalho found Rays of Hope when she was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly 28 years ago.

“No one in my family had breast cancer and I was just overwhelmed, and I was a nurse and I felt a need to have support, have someplace women and men could go where they could get the help that they need”, Carvalho said.

Since then, Rays of Hope has been helping both women and men in the fight against breast cancer, raising funds to help support them on their cancer journey. According to the latest breast cancer statistics, 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

While celebrations were held virtually due to COVID-19 concerns, many people came out in a car parade called the “Pink Parade of Hope”, to show support for one another.

Jackie Rodriguez, a 12-year breast cancer survivor and co-chair for Rays of Hope said this community is important. “It’s very important to make awareness and to let them know, those that are seeking support that has not reached out yet, to let them know we are here to help them.”

Rodriguez’s husband Al says don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. “When we first learned about this, I didn’t know who to turn to. I was afraid, I didn’t know, I was scared. Rays of Hope, they educated me and gave me a bunch of information. I called the Rays of Hope family.”

Every dollar raised at the event supports local breast cancer research and services in western Massachusetts.

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