Every year since 2005, during October, Tampa Bay area residents would see lots of pink -- pink clad walkers by the hundreds, taking over our streets, walking for a cure.
They were part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk.
But now the organization has made a major announcement: this will be the last year the 3-day walk is in Tampa and six other cities.
In an email to participants, the organization wrote, "participation levels the last five years have made it difficult to financially sustain an event of this magnitude in 14 cities."
It went on to say, "in order to ensure the greatest financial return for Susan G. Komen for the Cure's mission to end breast cancer forever, we believe that modifying the 3-Day series is the most responsible course of action."
For walkers, it was noticeable when the numbers kept declining. Tammy Zeph has walked in the 3-Day ever since it began in Tampa in 2005.
"You could see the numbers declining year after year after year. We still managed to raise a decent amount of money," Zeph said.
Starting in 2014, the walk has been canceled in Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and Tampa Bay.
The next closest walk to Tampa is Atlanta. Tammy Zeph and Kim Crist are part of "Team C-Side Sisters." Their team has raised more than $350,000 since 2005.
Tammy says she had a feeling this announcement was coming.
"I wasn't surprised, I mean yes, everyone is disappointed, but it's not going to stop me from doing this. It's not going to stop my team from doing this. We're just going to take the show on the road."
It costs a lot to put on the events. With showers, food, security, tents, etc. And that doesn't even take into account the $2,300 walkers have to raise before they even set foot on the route.
It has been a bad year of publicity for Komen. After they pulled funding for breast cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, there was a backlash.
The CEO Nancy Brinker, who started the organization for her sister who died from breast cancer, stepped down shortly after the controversy.
Kim believes it was unfair publicity.
"Whether you're right wing or left wing there's always somebody that's going to be on the attack. I think it's got some bad publicly -- unrightfully so, in my opinion.
She was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer in 2005. The 3-Day walk for her was part of the healing process.
"I was lucky. It was a very aggressive form I had. So I'm very blessed to be here today," she said.
She and her team don't plan to stop walking even though they'll have to take a trip, to do it.
"The money is going to the same pot, We'll just be walking those miles someplace else," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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