BOSTON (WHDH) - Raising money for cancer research and care, thousands of people showed up for the in-person return of the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday.

The sound of steel drums greeted cancer survivors, their families, friends, colleagues and more as supporters came out to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, walking the route of the 26.2 mile-long Boston Marathon.

“The comradery and the energy- I just love Walk Day!” said cancer survivor Tina Gee.

“I just think the care, the concern, the compassion that the doctors and staff have at the Dana-Farber, (they) are just wonderful,” said event volunteer and cancer survivor Terry Starr-Klein.

Having raised millions of dollars for cancer research and more since its start in 1989, the last two editions of the annual walk were held virtually due to the pandemic.

This year, though, participants were back on the roads, with many starting their walk in Hopkinton on Sunday, while others opted for the walk’s half-marathon option, starting from Wellesley instead. Both 10k and 5k run options were also available, with started at Boston College and The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, respectively.

Crossing the finish line at Copley Square, some participants shared why and who they were walking for.

“I’ve done this walk with my mom and my family (for) quite a few years – my mom passed away five years ago from breast cancer, so I’m here today thinking about my mom,” said Melissa Dennehy, a volunteer.

“We’re here to walk in honor of our dad,” Michelle Roche said. “He walked the Jimmy Fund Walk for over 25 years and, unfortunately, his knees have given him some trouble, so, we decided to walk for him. Also, our mom is a two-time survivor of cancer, so we’re walking her honor, as well.”

Seale Leach said she started walking years ago in honor of a student who passed away from brain cancer. Last year, her husband died from the same disease.

“His high school basketball number was 20, and so my walk number if 2020, so he’s with us,” Leach said.

This year, she fought breast cancer and won. Leach could be seen wearing the gold survivors’ cap proudly Sunday, walking toward a future she hopes will one day be cancer-free.

“This community is fantastic and a day like this, just celebrating people coming together to help put cancer in its corner,” she added.

According to organizers, the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk raises more money than any other single-day walk in the country and is expected to raise nearly $8 million this time around, thanks to 7,500 participants and some 850 volunteers. More than $160 million has been raised since the event’s inception.

“When we come together all as one for the greater good, for all the money and the research that’s being raised, and the awareness for cancer research, and being able to help Dana Farber the way that we’re doing, its everything that’s good about today,” said Jimmy Fund Walk Director Zack Blackburn.

“The research that needs to be done for us to defy cancer, and a lot of it is about the support for the patients and their family while they’re fighting their battle,” said Maureen Carroll.

More information on the Jimmy Fund and what you can do to help can be found here.

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