TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A sea of pink could be seen on the rodeo grounds on Sunday as breast cancer took the spotlight, not just animals and athletes.
It's a story too often told, those taking on the fight against breast cancer.
Through the darkness comes triumph, however, when a person can call themselves a survivor. For each person, something different gets them through.
"My camaraderie with my animals and my horses. They gave me the desire to get back to get strong," said Kathy McFarlane, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.
Due to her support system, her story comes full circle. Nearly five years ago, she sat in the crowd at the Tucson Rodeo Chicks n Chaps event. This year she stood in front of that crowd to share her own personal encounter with the disease and inspire others to keep on keeping on.
"Find something that's important to you that drives you, inspires you. Put your head down and get through it. Come out better on the other side," she explained, "I am stronger and I am better. I hope my presence here today has helped somebody."
McFarlane is among the hundreds of thousands previously diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts more than five thousand new cases will pop up this year. It's why organizations like Chicks n Chaps exist to push for breast cancer research. The nonprofit keeps the money they raise here in Arizona.
Arizona Oncology Foundation Development Director Becky O'Hara said, "Without Chicks n Chaps and our other supporters in this community, we would not be able to do what we do."
The lighthearted event on Sunday gave attendees an inside look at the inner workings of the rodeo.
Chicks n Chaps Tucson Chair, Mary Davis said, "They'll start to find their fans and heroes in the crowd. It's really cool. It puts you up close and personal with the rodeo in a way you don't get to do."
In the past four years, Chicks n Chaps has raised upwards of $20,000 for the community.