KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you see Cole Strickland headed to the race this on Saturday, just know he has one woman in mind.

"This is really important to me because my mother has had breast cancer and another form of cancer," he said.

According to Strickland, his mother Nicole would go on to beat breast cancer -- but it's the second cancer that proved a challenge.

"She actually did succumb to the second cancer," he said. 

Almost a year ago today she passed away. 

"November 26th of last year," Strickland said. 

Almost a year later, recalling her memory is still a little hard for her now 18-year-old son. 

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't sadness, it wasn't painful," he said. 

But he still manages to find the words to describe the woman who brought him into this world.

Gabrielle Hays

"What was she like, she was a bright soul and she was happy," he said.

Strickland adds if you knew her, you'd know just how passionate she was about her family.

Nicole and her boys
Gabrielle Hays

"My brother and I, she loved us so much. We were the center of her universe," her son said. "If I had to say who she was, she was us."

While running the same race his mother conquered a year ago will be difficult, Strickland believes it's the least his family can do for a woman they love so much.

"My mother needs somebody to carry on the things we did, the things we enjoyed," Strickland said. 

As he gears up to remember her with the rest of his family, he wants the world to know just how much love and support there is for those who need it most. 

"It's the most important part, nobody should suffer alone," he said. 

Nicole S.
Gabrielle Hays

Knoxville will host the 2019 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, Oct. 19. Participants can head to World's Fair Park that morning. The 5K Walk/Run starts at 8:30 a.m. on the Clinch Avenue Bridge. You can look at a race map here. The 1-mile Family Fun Run/Walk starts at 9 a.m. by the Chocolate Factory.

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