COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, with breastcancer.org reporting that one in eight women in the U.S. will likely develop an invasive form of the disease, many are working hard to raise funds for research and to encourage women to get regular mammograms.

Although the death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989, 40,000 women in this country are expected to die from the disease this year alone.

A huge crowd gathered Sunday from across Southern California for the American Cancer Society’s 5th Annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K,” a non-competitive walk in Costa Mesa. CBS2 anchor Pat Harvey emceed the event and CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Josh Rubenstein and reporter Michele Gile strapped on their walking shoes. Gile has been involved in the event since its inception.

Many turned out wearing pink tutus and at least one participant flaunted a pink mohawk, all sharing the hope that their commitment will help bring about the end to this disease.

“This is an opportunity to increase awareness about breast cancer and early detection of breast cancer,” said Mary Botticella of the Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center.

Everyone had their own reasons for being there – whether they were battling the disease, were a survivor or supporting a loved one – but in the end they were all fighting the same fight.

“We saw something on the mammogram and the rest is history. I was diagnosed and I’m 13 years clean now,” cancer survivor Holly Gordon said.

The walk raised $150,000, with more money continuing to come in. All the money stays in Orange County to help fight breast cancer.

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