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Spirit of Survival brings those touched by cancer together

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A busy and fun morning in Lawton on Sunday. Runners got up at the crack of dawn for the 11th annual Spirit of Survival. More than 3,500 people came out to participate, show their support, and to raise money for the cancer centers of southwest Oklahoma.

Many of the people who participate do so with a friend or loved on their mind that's battling or has battled cancer. Emily Booker participated in the 5K and says it was special because her mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 did it too.

"It was awesome to be able to do this with her," said Booker. "Through the whole entire thing, it was rough but so for her to be able to defeat it how she did was great."

"It's a blessing to be able to run with them because the battles they go through is not something that everyone can handle and it's just a blessing to run with people who have a strength like that," said Adam Scott, the Quarter Marathon winner.

Darla Foley is one of those participants who beat cancer and joined the others on the course. Foley has been cancer free for ten years and did the 5K with her friends who were with her every step of her journey.

"I've been very blessed to have a second chance at life and I just thank God every day that I'm alive and well and I was able to see my kids grow up," said Foley.

Runners say it was a touching to run in honor of cancer patients who are battling cancer and those who battled. Elgin's cross country coach and cancer survivor John Hughes says he had multiple runners participate today. He says not only is it good to get them involved in the community but it also teaches them a lesson.

"That just shows them that they can overcome no matter what happens," said Hughes "You know, sometimes in life or in school we have a problem in class, with our friends, and feel bad about ourselves and to come out here and see those guys in the red shirts, know that they fought a lot harder than we've ever fought in our lives. It lets them have a better perspective on what's important and how big their problems really are. The overall result is that they have easy lives compared to what some of those people go through."

Runners wrapped up the morning events with a ceremony.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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