LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks draws nearer so does a special part of the day that has nothing to do with horse racing.
Everyone wants to be a part of that emotional moment that will hold special meaning this year to those who work at the track.
"She was the inspiration for that survivors parade," said John Asher, Vice President of Communications at Churchill Downs of his former co-worker Tricia Amburgy.
Amburgy didn't set out to inspire her Churchill Downs coworkers after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She just did, Asher said. "The courage she showed in facing the diagnosis and tackling what she was going to do, how she was going to live her life, how she was going to battle this disease was an inspiration to everyone."
For the first time in its six year history, Tricia won't be there to see her fellow cancer warriors take the track on Oaks day.
"It really seems impossible she is no longer with us," said Asher, "even more impossible that she will not be part of that parade."
The 140 women who continue their fight will march anyway, alongside the spirit of those who cannot be there and for the 52 million women who have yet to be diagnosed.
"That's the number of women in this country who have not been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer but because they are women have some risk for these diseases," said Carli Feinstein with Bright Pink. "Also because they are women, we know they are strong and beautiful and bright and can do things to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health."
Bright Pink is a Chicago-based prevention and education effort that is the beneficiary of this year's Pink Out at Churchill Downs.
The ultimate hope is that the parade will one day no longer have a reason for being.
"We hope someday that we'll get to a Kentucky Oaks that we'll no longer need to have a parade like this, that we'll have a cure for breast cancer and we'll just focus on other issues, but this remains the main focus of Kentucky Oaks day," Asher said.
You can nominate and vote until March 31 at 11:59 p.m.
The 140 women who are selected will be announced April 1. Those women will get two tickets to the Kentucky Oaks, a walk on the pink carpet, lunch at the track and a place of honor in the parade right before the Oaks race on May 2.
Click here to nominate or vote someone. You can also donate in their honor to Bright Pink on the same site.
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