Sol Reyes Roberts is a five-year survivor of breast cancer.
But before her diagnosis in January 2007, she had already given back to breast cancer research. She began running in the Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure in 2004 with Latinas Race for the Cure.
"When you see the number of survivors, it's an overwhelming sensation," Roberts, a Laguna Beach resident and retired nurse, said of the race. "You see that they are full of life and have a lot of spirit."
This year's Komen Orange County Race for the Cure on Saturday in Newport Beach will bring together breast cancer survivors and advocates.
Between 23,000 and 24,000 people register for the race each year, said Lisa Wolter, executive director of Komen Orange County.
Race Chairwoman Marie Cammack said the number of people who participate is "inspiring."
"It's great to see all these people come together for one common cause," she said. "I always get goosebumps when I hear all the different stories."
Race for the Cure is Komen's biggest annual fundraiser, said Cammack, a Costa Mesa resident, adding that the race usually raises about $3 million annually.
Proceeds will go directly toward breast cancer research and treatments. Wolter, of Laguna Beach, said 75% of the funds raised will remain in Orange County for breast cancer education in different communities and languages, as well as help pay for mammograms for those will low income or who are uninsured. The other 25% will go directly toward breast-cancer research.
Wolter said none of the funds raised go to a national office or overhead costs.
"I think people can feel clear and assured that their money will go toward local women and better research," she said.
During the 2012 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, runners start at various times, including 7:15 a.m. for more serious runners, 7:30 a.m. for the 5K run/walk, and 8 a.m. for the one-mile fun walk at 8 a.m. and an additional at 9:45 a.m. 5K run/walk.
Also, at 8:45 a.m. survivors will parade around the grounds while wearing pink shirts and beads that represent each year of survivorship. Following the parade, at 9 a.m., breast cancer survivors will be recognized at a ceremony in their honor, which includes a releasing of doves to symbolize the women's triumphs.
Those interested in registering for the race can do so in-person at the Komen office at 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday or at KomenOC.org/race and on race day starting at 6:30 a.m.
Cammack encourages people to still register, even if they can't participate to help generate funds for the cause. She also said people can fundraise in the 125 Challenge in which every $125 raised can pay for a mammogram for someone who otherwise can't. There will be fundraising awards and prizes, like gift cards and Angels ticket packages. The fundraiser will last until Oct. 31.
If You Go
What: 2012 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure
When: 6:30 a.m. to noon Sunday
Where: Newport Beach Pacific Life Insurance at Fashion Island, 700 Newport Center Drive