Thousands of people adorned in pink and teal gathered together to walk in the 13th Annual Team Spirit Breast and Ovarian Cancer 10k Walk, in support of survivors and in remembrance of those who have lost their battle to breast and ovarian cancer.

Participants raised more than $260,000 through sponsorships, individual and team fundraising pages in support of psychosocial cancer support programs at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute (TCI) at Long Beach Medical Center. All proceeds raised help fund clinical and psychosocial programs that are instrumental in providing the best possible care to women who are newly diagnosed with cancer and cancer survivors, including Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support and Education – a peer-mentoring program, support groups, social workers and the addition of a nurse navigator.

At Long Beach Medical Center, the psychosocial cancer support programs offer women an open format to share their cancer journey, learn ways to reduce stress, guide each other through their hospital stays and ultimately become a supportive network of people that can fully relate to their experience.

This year’s event kicked off with a warm welcome from former Olympic gymnast and cancer survivor, Shannon Miller, who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the walk. In true Olympic spirit, Shannon shared her own battle with ovarian cancer to inspire and encourage Team Spirit walkers to remain hopeful despite adversity. Shannon had developed a baseball sized tumor in her ovaries. For a total of nine weeks, Shannon underwent intensive rounds of chemotherapy treatment and is currently cancer free.

“What a wonderful event to celebrate survivors and honor the memory of those who have passed on,” says Cindy Gotz, co-manager, Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support & Education. “Even record heat couldn’t diminish the enthusiasm of Team Spirit!”

Team Spirit was founded in 2000 as a small grass roots organization on the belief that more can be done to help fight and raise awareness of breast and ovarian cancer in the community. Team Spirit brings friends and families together to raise money for breast and ovarian cancer support programs and leading treatment options at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center.