Brown's Island will be transformed into a sea of pink Saturday, when thousands gather for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Jennifer Saunders' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 50.
"We would ask her how she was doing and she would say fine," said Jennifer.
Her mom, Joanne, got treatment and beat it once, but 5 years later, the cancer returned. She was 58 when she died.
"When you lose somebody, you just try to figure out what you can do."
Jennifer discussed it at length with longtime friend and running partner Kay.
"I just wanted so badly to help Jennifer and her family get through this," said Kay.
Both founded Richmond's Komen race, thinking it would be a proactive approach to a difficult situation. They hoped for fifty participants for the first race.
"About 1200 people came, and we were stunned"
In fifteen years, the central Virginia race has raised more than $5 million, all started in Joanne's honor.
"I think she's proud of the community, taking something that was sad and making something the community can rally around."
Last year, Komen funded more than 6000 screenings and treatments for women in our area. This year's goal is half a million dollars and, to date, only a fraction has been raised — meaning fewer women will get these life-saving procedures.