Canada’s largest one-day, volunteer-led breast cancer fundraiser brought thousands to the streets of Ottawa on Sunday.

The annual CIBC Run for the Cure took place at Tunney’s Pasture, aiming to address the fact one in nine Canadian women are expected to develop breast cancer.

“It feels great to know we are raising money for something that might help millions of people across the world,” said Kelly Nightingale.

“My aunt actually died of breast cancer, so it's a hard day, but we're here and we just want to promote awareness.”

Many ran or cheered to help support those who have the disease and people who have survived.

“My mother was diagnosed last year, and I was diagnosed two years ago,” said Patricia Baucage. “I have four aunts as well, they all had breast cancer.”

“I have some friends who have had breast cancer and survived, so it's in their honour,” said honourary Ottawa chair Laureen Harper. “We come out for one Sunday in September and do this run.”

Others said they did it in memory of loved ones who died from cancer.

“It’s for my dear friend Jamie,” said Sharon Carbonetti.

“She passed away in February of this year at the age of 35, and she has two young children so we're all here dedicating this year's walk to her.”

Breast cancer is the world’s most common cancer among women, with 23,000 diagnoses every year in Canada.

Those numbers mean there’s a large pool of patients and survivors that can feel the support from the run, according to one participant.

“Stay strong, people are thinking of you,” said Claude Graziadei. “Whether they're thinking of you individually or you in terms of your situation, there is support out there and people care.”

“Everyone here through their participation, through their fundraising, is helping to create a future without breast cancer,” said co-chair Paul Lansbergen. “I'm confident one day we'll get there.”

Ottawa’s run drew about 8,500 people and raised more than $1.5 million for breast cancer research.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Claudia Cautillo