MIAMI, FL (NBC) Hopetober officially begins Saturday at the Miami Seaquarium in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To kick it off, a group of breast cancer survivers celebrated their individual victories by swimming with the dolphins.
It was a day of "just enjoying ourselves," said Ann Anthony, who found a lump while taking a shower on Christmas Day in 2009. "Just the sheer joy -- no problems, no worrying about anything, just celebrating that we're here together."
Teacher Alecia Johnson is a seven-year survivor.
"It's fabulous to always meet other survivors," she said. "We enjoy talking to one another, sharing our stories and sharing the hope."
The event was 40-year-old Christina Bracho's first time swimming with dolphins. She was diagnosed four years ago.
"At that point, you were seeing yourself without hair, you know, having so many treatments per week. But I don't know -- my faith in God -- when I look back and I look now I'm blessed."
The Susan G. Komen Foundation and Miami Seaquarium teamed up to provide VIP dolphin interactions for the 28 brave women.
"I'm a two-time breast cancer survivor and this has been an amazing experience that I never wanted to do before," said Lourdes Rosell. "Now I guess I have courage and I'm stronger." The dolphins provided the women with smooth rides after having conquered many rough roads.
"It's breathtaking. I mean there are no words to express this wonderful event that they provided for us here today. It's something I've wanted to do my entire life and just couldn't afford," said 42-year-old Andrea Nugent.
The survivors will be together again soon for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct. 15 at Bayfront Park.
During the Seaquarium's Hopetober promotion, guests will be encouraged to make a $5 donation to the Komen Foundation and get half off the price of admission.