The emotional "Parade of Pink" was part of the opening ceremony for Philadelphia's 24th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
"I'm very emotional. I'm just so glad everyone is here. I see my family and my friends and everyone is out here supporting each other," said Gloria Odom.
In all, about 30,000 walkers and runners registered for Sunday's event. The goal is to raise over $2 million for cancer research, free mammograms and awareness that breast cancer can strike at any age.
Co-chair Jeannine Donahue was 26 when she was diagnosed seven years ago.
"It's a feeling of aloneness. Coming to something like this, feeling that support and knowing that you're not alone and that you have these other amazing women standing alongside of you during your journey with breast cancer," said Donahue.
Just about all the participants have been touched by breast cancer.
Many took part in memory of those lost to the disease, like Miriam Wynn, whose aunt died just this week, and whose cousin is a survivor.
"It makes me feel like we can overcome it and we can do it. That's the main reason why I'm here and we can find a cure," Miriam Wynne.
"My mom has breast cancer. She's going through treatment right now for it. We wanted to come out and support her. We have our whole family, 23 people, out walking in the one mile walk," said Corbin Forrester.
After Sunday's festivities, many of the participants headed to brunch with their moms, grandmoms and sisters. While they say it's a touching way to kick off Mother's Day, they are looking forward to the years when it is no longer needed.