UPDATED 08/05/11 10:05 a.m.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (CBS) — Nearly 2,000 people clad all in pink are gathering Friday to begin a three-day walk to raise funds for breast cancer research.

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The Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day for the Cure began Friday at the Northbrook Court Shopping Center, and travels 60 miles to its conclusion at Soldier Field Sunday.

The group will hike about 20 miles per day and camp out overnight on Friday and Saturday night.

Following opening ceremonies Friday morning, the 60 mile journey began on a high note for some, and an emotional journey for others.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

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Cleo Fulton traveled all the way from South Dakota to help fight for her cousin, and everyone else who has breast cancer.

“I had asked my cousin Joy to come with us, and she’s fighting it so hard right now, and she can’t make it,” Fulton said.

Anthony Smitson came in from California to support his mother and mother-in-law, both seven-year survivors. He says the walk provides hope.

“Mostly, I like the community that does it. Everybody’s here to support for the same reason,” he said.

Saralyn Carillo is a participant in the walk, and a breast cancer survivor.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, and I had two small children, and luckily, because of all the research that Komen has done, I was diagnosed very early, and celebrated nine years as a survivor this year,” Carillo said on the CBS 2 Morning News. “So I just want to pay it forward.”

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Carillo says about 1,900 people are participating in the walk, along with 400 crewmembers supporting the walkers. She estimates about 30 or 40 percent of the participants are breast cancer survivors.