TAMPA, Fla — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted its 9th Annual Treasure Chests 5K and Fun Run Sunday morning to raise awareness for breast cancer and raise funds for research.
Thousands of people came to race or walk, many of them being survivors of breast cancer or running in honor of someone close to them. The race began at the Advent Health Training Center and wove through the parking lots surrounding the Raymond James Stadium.
As volunteers cheered and runners made their way to the finish line, each person had a reason to run. For Laura Bokor, it was to celebrate being three years cancer-free.
Bokor caught her cancer early, by going to the doctor after self-detecting a lump in her breast.
"I did four rounds of chemo when I didn't think I'd have to because I caught it so early," she said.
She still takes hormonal medicine to help, post-diagnosis, making it more difficult to run a 5K. But it's the message she gets to share that motivates er to push through.
"I want to do what I can for breast cancer awareness, I want to tell everyone [to] please get your mammogram. Early detection is key," she said.
Bokor accredited her friends and family for helping her through her diagnosis, four rounds of chemo and finally becoming cancer-free.
"What helped me the most, I had a few friends that had gone through it a few years prior," she said. "They helped me with picking doctors and getting ready with everything I needed to go through."
When the Bucs play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday evening, breast cancer survivors will be honored by the home team throughout the game.
Breast cancer affects one in eight women. This year alone, over 281,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer.
For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than any other cancer, aside from lung cancer.
For information or resources on breast cancer, click here.