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8th Annual Spirit of Survival

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LAWTON, Okla._Nearly four thousand runners and walkers came out Sunday to show their support for the 2013, 8th Annual Spirit of Survival.

"Cancer is something that we need to fight and we need to continue to fight for a long time, with everyone coming out here supporting and donating their money helps research continue to go on," said 5K runner Jorge Castro.

And that's the reason the Spirit of Survival is put on year after year. Helping southwest Oklahoman's in the fight against cancer.

"It affects so many lives people that are survivors and people that have passed away it's a big thing it affects everybody no matter the race or color or what not," said 5K runner Jerry Dawson.

Race director Lori Cummins says the goal of this year's race is to raise 100 thousand dollars. She says setting the goal this high means more hope for local cancer patients.

"The more money we raise the more clinical trials that were able to provide for patients who are need alternative treatments there are a lot of people who are not responding to traditional treatments and our cancer centers really focuses heavily on working with drugs that are available thru clinical trials only but it takes a lot of research," said Lori Cummins

But for many today, the race was about honoring those who lost the battle against cancer.

Melinda Bautisita has never run any kind of race before, but today laced up her running shoes in honor of her 8 year old daughter who lost her life to cancer.

"I just think it's so important a lot of people don't realize how prevalent cancer is until it hits you, and I think by then it's too late I think we should all be doing something as a community as one to raise awareness for adult cancer but also pediatric cancer," said 5K runner Melinda Bautisita

But no matter what the reason for southwest Oklahomans signing up for Sunday's event, one thing remains certain, and a strong community coming together to battle cancer as one.

"Anything we can do to be fighting any kind of disease that's afflicting millions of people is a good thing, so if we come out and run and get healthy and support people who aren't as healthy as we are it's always a good opportunity," said half marathon runner Jeff Fazio

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