Susan G. Komen pulls in $2.2 million

8:23 AM, Oct 28, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The final Susan G. Komen Tampa Bay 3-Day came to a close Sunday afternoon at Spa Beach Park in St. Petersburg. 

After crossing the finish line, the participants experienced the emotional closing ceremony and celebrated their participation in raising $2.2 million dollars.

For many, this particular event means more since it is Tampa's last 3-Day event.

"It's sad that it is leaving, especially because I couldn't be here last year and not this might be my first and last time walking in Tampa Bay," said one year survivor, Winna Morrin. 

Morrin beat cancer last year, but only after her friend, Linda, was diagnosed and lost her battle in 2010.

"If she wasn't diagnosed, I would have waited until I was 40 to be checked and I might not be here," said Morrin.

Morrin was only 38 when she went in for her breast exam.

"We didn't find a lump, but we found four tumors. Linda is my angel. She brought us together and we are walking because of her. It's because of her that we got all mine and because of her she saved my life. I will always remember her for saving my life."

Linda's sister, Joanne Krapk, held hands with Morrin right before they start their walk. Krapk wore a picture of her sister Linda on a button hooked on her pink cowgirl hat.

"I take her everywhere with me. She was my best friend. We were very close!" said Krapk.

They are the Soul Sisters and Brothers too, group. In their four times walking, minus Morrin, they have raised $87,000 for their fight against breast cancer.

"My mother also had cervical cancer right before my sister Linda was diagnosed in 2009," said Krapk. "Then Linda passed away nine months later, then eight months later my mom died. It was all the research, though, that kept them both alive as long as they were alive."

They are heartbroken that next year's closest 3-Day event will be in Atlanta.

Dr. Sheri Phillips hosted Friday's 3-Day start event. Dr. Phillips is also a breast cancer survivor and said she's sad to see the event leave Tampa Bay.

"You know, breast cancer never takes a break and neither will we," she said. "We are hoping our Tampa participants will continuing supporting by working with a local affiliate or visiting us in one of our seven cities next year. This crowd is made up of survivors, like myself, some co-survivors, some because they realize that every four minutes in the world someone dies from breast cancer."

The declining numbers nationwide forced Komen to pull the 3-Day event from 14 cities.

The numbers in Tampa have been dwindling; in 2011, there were 1,850 walkers and crew members, there were 1,300 walkers in 2012, and only 1,100 in 2013.

However, Morrin and Krapk will not stop giving.

"We are sad but will not let this stop us," said Kapk. "We will do the Relay For Life and all the other events!"

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