by: Eric Philips Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hundreds of people arrived in Uptown before sunrise for the kickoff of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Before the walk began, officials announced that participants raised $1.65 million. To take part in the race, walkers had to raise a minimum of $1,800 for breast cancer research.
They have two options: walking 26 miles or 39 miles. Channel 9 was in Uptown for the start of the race.
Some said victory is imminent, and until that day arrives, they will be walking the road to victory, people like Angela Cassano, a six-year breast cancer survivor.
"At age 31, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had six months of chemo, five surgeries and I am so excited to be here today," she said.
They have a strong conviction to do this, but it is not always easy.
Participants will walk either 26 miles or 39 miles between Saturday and Sunday, and support along the way is vital.
"You will be walking at mile 16, 18 and 20 and you will turn the corner and there will be a sorority standing there cheering for you, or a fraternity or a group of children," said Cassano.
Each walker has raised a minimum of $1,800 to participate.
As the sun was rising, the pink tide was coming and walkers said that they will not stop.
"So no one else has to hear the words that you have got cancer," said Cassano.
Saturday's first half of the walk wrapped up in the afternoon, but they will be back out there again on Sunday to finish up.
Channel 9's Allison Latos and Tenikka Smith will be with the participants on Saturday night as they prepare for the second half.