COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — From hope to empathy to determination and passion, some 8,000 people emerged Sunday to participate in a walk in the fight against breast cancer.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K emceed by CBS2/KCAL9’s own Amy Johnson got underway in Costa Mesa, with many lacing up to show their support.

Johnson, who is a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed two years ago.

“This has been an amazing morning. I have to say that two years ago, when I was diagnosed, I couldn’t even come out to something like this,” shared Johnson. “I don’t think I could even report on it two years ago because I was so emotional over the shock of being diagnosed.”

As Johnson explains, breast cancer didn’t run in her family, which is a common occurrence among those diagnosed.

For MJ Jenkins, a breast cancer survivor, the event marked an important milestone, as she celebrates being breast cancer free for five years.

Jenkins says through the 5K walk, she has made life-long friends, all of whom have supported her through her journey.

“Real Men Wear Pink is a great way for the men to join the women to fight the battle against breast cancer,” said Raul Ramirez, another participant. “We raise money and the funds all go toward cancer-related resources.”

Johnson says the event Sunday has raised $300,000 that will go toward research, resources and services like therapy and nutritional support to aid those battling the disease.

“This fundraising helps patients get to and from the hospital because a lot of times spouses have to work, parents have to work if you’re a young victim here,” she said.

“The whole goal here is to end breast cancer,” she added. “But unfortunately, there’s a lot of work to be done and that’s why it’s so important that these walks happen.”

The next Making Strides event will be held next Saturday, Oct. 27, in Santa Monica.

CBS2/KCAL9 is a proud media sponsor of both the LA and OC Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, two non-competitive walks in the fight against breast cancer.