TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Ann May was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2013.
She, like many other survivors, didn't expect to get cancer.
"I didn't cry," May said. "I don't think I knew what to think. I think I was more in shock."
More than 4,000 people came to the 16th Tupelo Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Saturday.
"It's good to show your support of those who have been diagnosed," cancer survivor Stacy Hancock said.
Hancock has been cancer-free for three months now.
She said now she can focus on helping those who are still battling.
"Just keep your head up, there's always light," Hancock said.
May said early detection is the key to preventing breast cancer.
"If you have any kind of irregularity to be sure and get it checked, not just a lump, but anything," May said.
Most of the money from Saturday's race will stay in North Mississippi.
"Seventy-five percent of the funds go to help women who otherwise couldn't afford a mammogram," former race coordinator Ellen Friloux said.
Organizers said this time of year brings the community together.
"We have people that call everyday wanting to volunteer," Race for the Cure Chair Rachel Wood said. "Wanting to participate, how they can be involved, how they can help raise money."
Runners said this event wouldn't be the same without the guests of honor.
"Survivors just make this race, they bring the spirit to the race," Friloux said.
May said this race helps keep her strong, even though she has a long road ahead of her.
"The more support you have, the more you have to feel you've got to do this," May said. "You don't have a choice. I've got to do this."
She said she is confident she will beat her cancer.