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Downtown Pikeville turns pink

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Downtown Pikeville turned pink on Saturday, as hundreds took part in the 5K race and other events held to support those impacted by breast cancer. The area became covered in the color from businesses, to people, and even some furry creatures.

"In 2010, when I was going through breast cancer, seven girls that I went all through grade school and high school with just rallied around me and made the journey a little less painful," says Kelli Thompson.

That is when Thompson and her friends came up with the idea for 'Paint Pikeville Pink'.

Thompson explains, "We wanted to be there for other people battling cancer and so we put this together to try to lift somebody else's spirits."

In just three years the event has grown into more than they ever imagined with the entire community getting involved and drawing support from outside of Pike County.

Billy Squires says, "We drove a little bit over three hours to get here, and we are tickled to death because it is for a great cause and we want to be part of it."

Despite the rainy weather, event organizers say they more than tripled the turnout from last year with more than 1,000 people coming out to participate.

Debbie Freeman says, "It attests to the community and the fellowship that everyone has to support the survivors, you know they are going through a battle with cancer and I think it speaks volumes that they will come out in this weather."

Thompson adds, "We want this to be very high energy, that's why we aren't going to let the rain dampen our spirits so that people who are here that are battling can have their burdens lifted at least for a day."

As a survivor Thompson says she knows this support can make a huge the difference in someone's fight, "The support helps you keep fighting...when you are going through treatment and there are those lulls during the battle. You are like is this ever going to end? Am I ever going to be normal again? When you have people there saying we are here, we are getting through this, and we are moving forward...it just changes your whole mindset."

Organizers say they raised more than $22,000, that money will go to the local organization 'Blessed Beyond Measure' as well as the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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