They walked for a cause.
More than 35,000 participants strolled down Coney Island’s Rieglmann Boardwalk on Oct. 21 for the American Cancer Society’s 16th-annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in the borough, which raised $744,000 for breast-cancer research, according to a rep for the national organization. The sun even peeked out from behind the clouds as soon as the strollers stepped off the starting line at the festive event, according to one attendee.
“It was amazing — it was a windy, chilly day, and the sun came out at the beginning of the walk,” said Park Slope resident Joanna Tallantire.
The 3.2-mile walk started at Luna Park’s Parachute Jump and proceeded down the Riegelmann Boardwalk, before looping back to MCU Park, where walkers enjoyed snacks and performances from local cheerleaders and high-school marching bands.
Many walkers turned out in memory of loved ones who lost their battles with breast cancer, or to honor those still in the fight, and hundreds of survivors who beat breast cancer also took to the wooden planks to celebrate their own victories.
One attendee walked in memory of her mother, who died of breast cancer when she was 19-years-old, adding that she didn’t want other youngsters to have to experience the loss that she did.
“[My mother’s death] had a great impact on my life at the time, and my life thereafter, and I want to help us reach a day when no other teenage girl has to bury their mother,” said Crown Heights resident Ummi Modeste.
Tallantire said she also has close ties to people with breast cancer, adding that being around other people whose lives it has touched gives her feelings of healing, empowerment, and solidarity.
“I went because I have breast cancer in my family, and a friend who’s in treatment at the moment,” she said. “The walk offers great camaraderie.”