Cancer survivors march side by side down Churchill Downs track - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Cancer survivors march side by side down Churchill Downs track

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Marching together, side by side, a group of breast and ovarian cancer survivors were selected out of 400 nominations across the country to walk in the annual Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade in the cold and rainy weather Friday at Churchill Downs. 

"You can't believe the people that care about you until you are nominated to walk in something like this," said Mary Burton, a cancer survivor.

"I just included how strong she was and just how she made the rest of us say, 'This isn't a big deal. We're gonna get through this," said Alysia Burris, who nominated her mother for the parade. "'I'm not scared, don't you be scared.'"

And these women weren't going to let bad weather rain on their parade. But it did move them from the dirt track to the turf.

"You know we've survived cancer, what's a little rain and cold going to do to us? Nothing!" Burton said.

As they walked across the track track, they were surrounded by strength and courage. It was the setting for races all day long and symbolized their own races they've won against cancer. 

You don't know that you can make it to the finish line," said Barbie Tafel, a cancer survivor. "It's a battle, and to be on the other side of it is a glorious feeling."

Humbled by their experience, many are making it their mission to raise awareness of these deadly cancers.

"I'd have to say that life on the other side is better than it's ever been," Tafel said. "It just makes you reassess things."

Friday marked the ninth consecutive year for the Oaks Survivors Parade.

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