BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of people wore pink for a purpose on the Charles River Esplanade Sunday morning.

It was the 30th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, which raises lifesaving funds that support breast cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

One of those survivors, Stacey Madison, says this year’s walk is the first in which she decided to wear the “survivor” ribbons that were handed out. Madison beat her battle with cancer eight years ago.

Other participants took part in the event in memory of loved ones:

“What brought me here is my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 and she fought it for a long time, and she was my rock,” said Jim Foster, who has volunteered with Making Strides since the walk’s inception in 1993. “When she passed away from the breast cancer in 1990, and this came up in 1993, I said ‘yes this is something I can do as a tribute to my sister.'”

Walkers of all ages embarked on either a two-mile or five-mile route, before celebrating their strides at the DCR Hatch Shell.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people come out to support individuals with a diagnosis of breast cancer,” says Dr. Amy Commander, the medical director at Mass General Cancer Center. “And most importantly, fundraise to support research efforts so we can do a better job in terms of reducing risks of breast cancer and finding new treatments.”

“It all started here in beautiful Boston and we are so proud; we’re one of the top events in the country,” said American Cancer Society’s Vice President of Development Louise Santosuosso.

More than 15,000 walkers took part throughout the day, and fundraising is on track to reach the $1.1 million goal.

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