Part 4 of the ABC’s of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Crew

Welcome to part four of the ABC’s of the Komen 3-Day Crew! We’ve shared letters A – EF – J, K – O, and this week, we’re excited to present letters P through T. We invite you to tell us your ideas for each letter here or on Facebook, and to share these images with your family and friends. (To see the 3-Day walker version of the ABC’s, click here!)

P is for Pit Stop

“Rest, Refuel, Relieve Yourself” is the unofficial motto of the 3-Day pit stops. Pit stops are magical little worlds that are themed, decorated, staffed with costumed crew members, and strategically located along the route every 3-4 miles. You’ll find snacks, water, sports drinks, medical attention (in case you need it), cheerleaders and so much more at each and every pit stop, and you’re never very far from the next one!

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Q is for Quiet Zone

The 3-Day is an exciting event, full of cheering and music and talking. However, some of our 3-Day neighbors appreciate peace and quiet in the early morning hours, so you’ll notice Quiet Zone signs – put in place by our dedicated Route Marking crew members – as you stroll through certain parts of the route. Please be mindful of the people that live in these neighborhoods who are trying to rest and relax.

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R is for Route Marking

How do we keep hundreds of 3-Day walkers from getting lost on the route? Great route signage! The Route Marking crew heads out on the route early to hang hundreds of directional arrows and safety reminders, and then takes them down after everyone is gone. You’ll probably never see a Route Marking crew member in action, but we’d be lost without them!

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S is for Sweep Vans

Sweep vans are driven by crew members along the route all day, ready to pick up anyone who needs to stop walking for a bit. Sweep vans are elaborately decorated, themed and musically accompanied “mobile love and encouragement units.” Sometimes, walkers feel disappointed if they have to rely on a sweep van, but we can’t emphasize enough that there is NO shame in taking a sweep. In fact, a lot of people would agree that you haven’t fully experienced the 3-Day until you’ve taken a ride in a sweep van.

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T is for Theme

When you walk into a 3-Day pit stop, you never know what kind of magical land you might be entering. Oz? A bee hive? The 1950s? A storybook fairy tale land? Themes are just one of the many fun ways Crew teams contribute to the 3-Day.

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What other people, places, or things can you think of for these letters? Share here or with us on Facebook.

2014 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up

We had a rainy start to the week in Michigan this past week, but the clouds parted and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® opened on Friday with a spectacular morning filled with color and life. Nine hundred walkers and over 300 crew members arrived at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and were greeted with a new look to the Komen 3-Day Opening Ceremony set-up. Many bright-eyed 3-Dayers quickly took advantage of the photo opps in front of our new ceremony banners (to get a peek at the many shots that were taken, check out the hashtags #MI3Day and #The3Day on Instagram). The Opening Ceremony also had some new elements, including a lovely photo tribute to those loved ones we’ve lost to breast cancer. It was a powerful homage that filled everyone with a motivating passion to hit the ground moving on the first day of the first 3-Day® of 2014.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog michigan 2014 opening ceremony photo tribute

The Day 1 route took walkers on a 22-mile loop from Opening back to camp at the same location, but the route was anything but boring. With beautiful strolls through the neighborhoods of Novi, Farmington and Farmington Hills, walkers were treated to amazing themed pit stops and grab & go’s, and even a Las Vegas-themed lunch stop. Back at camp, the 3-Day community was deeply moved by 32 year old Meghan Malley, the Komen Detroit Co-Chair for Young Survivor and Metastatic Breast Cancer Initiatives, who spoke in the camp show about Komen’s commitment to expanding research into the cures for all breast cancers, including late-stage. You could feel the impact of her speech hanging in the air.

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Meghan Malley with Susan G. Komen rep Norm Bowling

Day 2 was another 22-mile loop out and back from camp, but with new and different highlights than Day 1. Supporters came out in droves to the cheering stations in downtown Northville and Plymouth, where the famous “pink fountain” provided an unforgettable backdrop for photos and reunions with supporters. There were some beautiful spans of route going through the nature areas along Hines Drive, and walkers were given some of the most enthusiastic welcomes we’ve ever seen, courtesy of three local football teams who came out to cheer the walkers into camp.

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Supporters came out to Northville on Saturday morning to cheer (for no one in particular?).

And before we knew it, Day 3 was upon us, and the walkers’ sights were focused on reaching the 60-mile prize. After a short bus ride to the route, walkers were greeted by nearly 300 youth cheerleaders from local teams and leagues, who formed a pink pom-pom-lined human tunnel stretching the length of a football field. Further up the route, friends and family came out to set up dozens of private cheering stations all along the lovely Hines Drive walkway (thankfully no longer under water!).

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Dozens of local cheer squads lined the route on Sunday morning.

Closing Ceremony was emotional as always, as we celebrate the magnificent accomplishment of 60 miles walked and $2.4 million raised by Michigan 3-Day participants. Dr. Sheri, as well as the ceremony participants from Opening on Friday, reminded us that we’ve made incredible strides in our fight, but we will never give up until we have put an end to breast cancer. The journey ahead—six more 3-Day events, 360 more miles, millions more steps—is a challenging one, but one that the 3-Day family will meet with passion, dedication and unwavering fortitude. We can’t wait to share it with you.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog michigan 2014 day 3 cheerleaders

David of Cleveland Cleavage and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Community

Those who know the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® know that above all, the Komen 3-Day is a family. New and returning participants alike are greeted with open arms, warmly welcomed into a bold community that is bravely fighting breast cancer with passion, drive and stamina. We caught up with David G. and several of his Cleveland Cleavage teammates, to learn more about what the 3-Day® means to them.

David and his Cleveland Cleavage teammate Tina head to the lunch stop on Day 3 of the Michigan 3-Day.

David and his Cleveland Cleavage teammate Tina head to the lunch stop on Day 3 of the Michigan 3-Day.

David’s friendly blue eyes twinkle as he recounts his numerous 3-Day events; all told, David has raised over $24,000 in the 11 3-Day events he’s been a part of (nine as a walker and two as a crew member). David became involved in the Komen community in 2005 by participating in several Race for the Cure® events in Cleveland with Nancy, a decades-long friend who was battling breast cancer. David decided to walk the 3-Day for her and several other people in his life who were lost to cancer. “I decided to surprise her in 2010 and told her that I was going to be doing the 3-Day. She was over the moon happy. I did it in July of 2010 in Cleveland, did the final Race for the Cure with her two months later, and then about three weeks later she took her final turn, after a ten year fight. I walk for her, and for my grandma, my best friend, my neighbor. I’m walking for them all,” said David.

Like David, his new Cleveland Cleavage teammate Rachel K., from Macomb, Michigan, also has a very personal connection to the cause. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Rachel remembers those she’s walking for as a way to keep her inspired on the route. “I always remember the reasons why I’m walking. Don’t forget, because those people are cheering you on. That’s what gets me through.” Rachel walked the 3-Day once before in 2008. (Fun fact: Rachel joined the Cleveland Cleavage team after seeing the team’s photos on Instagram!)

In addition to Rachel, David was joined this weekend in Michigan by several other members of the Cleveland Cleavage team, and his face lights up as he describes his love for Cleveland. “Born there, raised there, lived there my entire life. I love Cleveland!” While the team’s name is inspired by the Ohio city, the sixteen members of the team (including one Youth Corps member) are from all over the country, including Michigan, California, Kansas, Missouri, and Virginia. “We’ve got half the country represented,” David jokes.

What does this bunch think of walking Michigan, even when their team names boasts an allegiance to Cleveland? “I could almost throw a rock at Michigan from there,” David says of Cleveland. “I’m blessed to still be so close to an event,” he said. “I’m driving to Philly and flying to San Diego, so distance won’t deter me.” He adds, “Plymouth was the most awesome cheering station I’ve ever seen.” That’s saying a lot, from a guy with David’s level of experience.

David and Jodi, a member of Cleveland Cleavage

David and Jodi, a member of Cleveland Cleavage

David’s love of the Cleveland community also echoes in the way he’s successfully raised funds over the years. David describes his fundraising efforts as creative and local, including several types of events like bowling parties and wing nights. “I just try to come up with new things,” he said.

It’s a pleasure talking with David and his teammates, and before we know it, their lunch break has ended and they’re ready to keep moving. I know that with the Michigan 3-Day Closing Ceremony just a few hours away, this may be the last time I see David on this event, but I smile knowing I’ll spot his tall, smiling personage in more 2014 3-Day cities. His parting thoughts? “Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the people. Enjoy the atmosphere. If you walk all 60, great. But you’ve already done the hard part by fundraising to get here. And that’s where you help the cause. The walk is a celebration of that.”