Updated: 10/13/2013 11:42 AM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson
"I'm here! I'm alive! I can walk the walk," squealed Pamela Wolfe.
Just five years ago, she never saw herself standing among more than 200 survivors at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
"When you first hear those words you have breast cancer, your world starts to spin and tilt upside down," she said.
Doctors found five tumors during a regular mammogram check-up. Her dream of one day becoming a mother began to fade.
"You're not sure whether you're going to be alive, whether you're going to be dead, and you don't know which way to turn," said Wolfe.
All funds from the event go to supporting breast cancer patients. Whether it be research, lodging during treatment, screening for the uninsured or even something as simple as creating a network for those who feel alone.
"It can happen to anyone. That's why it's so important that we keep funding and advocating for screening and detection programs for cancer," said Ellie Beaver with the American Cancer Society.
The three-mile walk around Lake Nokomis is fitting. According to the American Cancer Society, women who walk up to seven hours a week reduce their chances of getting breast cancer by up to 14%.
"Without all the research and everything that has happened for breast cancer, I would not be alive today," said Wolfe, who is now celebrating her five-year breast cancer-free milestone at the walk with her two children in tow.
"I walked the walk, I talked the talk, and I came out the other side."
According to the American Cancer Society, there has been a 34 percent reduction in breast cancer-related deaths since 1990. One in every two women who are diagnosed seek help through the American Cancer Society.
Organizers say the event raised more than $300,000.