There was a sea of pink at City Park Sunday morning. Thousands of people gathered to make strides against breast cancer. Among the crowd ABC26 News Reporter Vanessa Bolano.

All of us have tough days, but for many of these people life has thrown an unexpected wrench into their journey.

Breast cancer patient Lynne Galliano says "We're here for more people, but I'm one of them."

Breast cancer survivor Mary Anne Lennon says, "I was walking in the past with two friends who were cancer survivors, and I never thought I'd be joining them."

Laura Messina, who was diagnosed in June, says, "I just went in for a routine mammogram. i was turning 40 in July, and they told me I had a lump."

Messina and 8,000 others were at City Park "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer." Messina says she's lucky she caught it early.

"I was scared of it. In fact I hadn't been to the doctor in about 18 years so this was my first trip back and it was so simple and so ridiculous that I hadn't been in so long, and I was very lucky that I caught it when I did."

The American Cancer Society says early detecion is key as do most survivors.

Wanda Roberts says, "I found out 16 years ago with a self exam which I plead and I beg and I tell all women to do that."

Kathleen Carbajal who has been cancer free for 9 years says, "Getting the surgery, having to have reconstruction or chemo, those aren't fun, and it's certainly a lot longer that the few seconds it takes to get a mammogram."

About 1,000 breast cancer survivors signed up for the walk and those who came to the survivor tent got a medal. It's a sign they've won their fight.

For Wanda Payne, her battle is just beginning. "I have been just diagnosed with cancer. I begin chemo tomorrow and this is my mom who is coming to spend my first chemo session and treatment with me, and we decided to come to the walk this morning."

With a support group of thousands who are all in this journey with her she knows she's going to make it out just fine.

Sunday mornings walk was the American Cancer Society's 12th annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."

Organizers say through the years the New Orleans area has raised over $1,000,000 to fight the disease through research.