It was a sea of pink at Canalside Saturday morning as thousands of walkers and runners came out for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and run.

The American Cancer Society said a record-breaking 15,000 people participated in the event to help prevent, detect and treat breast cancer.

They walked together so no one has to walk alone.

"I was diagnosed at 28...young," Ashley Johnston, a breast cancer survivor and walker, said. "I think a lot of times when you're in you know, young ages, you never think that cancer can happen to you. Unfortunately it is one of those scary realities that can happen."

The end of October marks one year since Johnston finished chemotherapy.

Saturday's event is a large-scale example of the kind of support that helped her get cancer-free.

"I always had a great support system," Johnston said. "My family, my friends, my boyfriend took me to every single appointment. [He] shaved his head when I had lost my hair and it's just important to stay positive throughout it."

Making Strides started a 5k run this year that took off before their traditional walk.

Also new this year was the partnership between the American Cancer Society and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Bosom Buddies.

The Bosom Buddies, who do their own walk, decided to join the American Cancer Society to make an even greater impact. They said 50 percent of the funds they raised Saturday would go to their Breast Cancer Center.

"You don't have to be a Roswell patient to take advantage of that," Doctor Jessica Young, a breast surgeon from Roswell, said. "So we do invite any patient who has breast cancer to come to our resource center and get information, support and just more resources for them."

Doctor Young added that as much as the event is about raising money, it is just as much about raising awareness for how critical it is that women be proactive about their health and get checked.

The American Cancer Society said the final participant tally came in at a 15,000 walkers and they raised nearly $500,000.