Thousands help paint downtown Toledo pink during Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure

9/29/2013
BLADE STAFF
Walkers wait for the start of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Walkers wait for the start of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Toledo today for the Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure's annual 5K road race and walk to raise awareness about breast cancer.

PHOTO GALLERY: Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure

Runners and marchers were adorned in pink, many carrying signs in support of friends and family members who have died from or are battling cancer.

Delisa Jordan, 46, of Toledo's Old West End, was one of the first-time runners. She said she pointed toward the Heavens and cried upon completing the race, inspired by her late grandmother, Mary Love-Pittman, of Toledo, who died in 2002.

Ms. Jordan said she lost 62 pounds in order to do the race, the first road race she has done in her life.

"I just knew I needed to do this for her," Ms. Jordan said.

She said several other people in her family have had cancer, including her boyfriend, David Wiggins, who overcame prostate cancer, and her step-father, Lawrence Hughes, who died of bladder cancer in 2007.

Ms. Jordan said she found the race to be an "emotional and spiritual" event that she intends to do annually.

Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure is an affiliate of the national Susan G. Komen organization that was founded in 1982. The Toledo area race now draws more than 19,000 participants and raises more than $1,000,000 annually.