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Komen race participation, donations continue to drop

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PHOENIX -

For the second year in a row, fewer people participated and donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Phoenix. 

Participation has decreased after a clash between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood happened last year.

The foundation cut off breast cancer screenings through Planned Parenthood, then reversed that decision after receiving backlash.

More than 15,000 people pounded the pavement Sunday morning.

There was a huge crowd, but there were about 10,000 people less than just two years ago.

In 2011, 25,000 people participated and the event raised $1.8 million.

The next year, participation dropped to 21,000 people participants and $1.6 million was raised.

Sunday, just 15,500 people showed up for the race and raised $1.2 million.

Despite the decrease, the race is still an inspiration for survivors, who range from newbies to repeat survivors.

"I'm only a one-month-old survivor," said Donna Griffin-Bryan.

"15 years, but still battling," said Sue Willingham.

Willingham was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.

Since then, she has been in remission twice and the cancer has come back twice.

"Have to be very, very strong, mind and physical," said Willingham.

While the numbers of participants aren't as strong, the strength within this group is intense.

"I hate cancer and that's why I'm here," said Rebecca Haugse. "I can fight for those women and men who cant go through another day of chemo because they're so fatigued."

Raising $1.2 million to fight breast cancer is still impressive.

75 percent of the money raised Sunday will benefit women in Arizona who need to pay for mammograms and other treatments.

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