A Special Stop in the Twin Cities

The Shinar family stops at Pit Stop 1 on Day 1 of the Twin Cities 3-Day fight to end breast cancer

The Shinar family stops at Pit Stop 1 on Day 1 of the Twin Cities 3-Day

“When I was young,” recalled Rob Shinar, “my mother changed hairstyles often. As I child, I didn’t really know anything had been wrong until much later.” Rob is accompanying his father and sister today on Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day, a 60-mile journey to raise funds to help end breast cancer. “I thought everything was fine until I got a call at work. My dad called. Her breast cancer had returned 20 years later and was in her bones and lungs.” Rob and his sister Ally joined their father, John, today as he is walking in the Twin Cities. John has dedicated himself to walking all 14 events this year in honor of his wife, Martha, and to help find a cure for the cancer that took his wife.

John and Rob Shinar walk on Day 1 in the Twin Cities 3-Day, fight to end breast cancer

John and Rob Shinar walk on Day 1 in the Twin Cities 3-Day

On Day 1, the route here in the Twin Cities wraps around Lake of the Isles, and John, Ally, and Rob, along with other family and friends stopped at Pit Stop 2, gathered a bouquet of pink flowers that had been dropped off previously, and walked near the route to honor their wife and mother at Lakewood Cemetery. “Martha and I met in college in Michigan,” John responded when I asked him about her. “She was beautiful and she didn’t think so. You know the type?” John smiled. I knew. You can easily get a sense of who people are by how others talk about them. When I listened to John talk about Martha, I knew exactly who she was and how she lived. “Ally and Rob. Look at them. They’re just the same. There is a lot of Martha in them.”

John Shinar Twin Cities 3-Day Martha Shinar

John places pink flowers in memory of his wife Martha on the Twin Cities 3-Day

The Twin Cities are hot today, and John and his two children placed the pink flowers in the shade of Martha’s memorial and embraced. It was a special stop for a wonderful woman. The three spent some time together at the site and then made their way back to the route. “I walk because everyone deserves a lifetime,” says John. “I will walk, I will run, I will ride. I will not rest until a cure has been found.”

3-Day Mythbusters

Over the years, our coaches have heard some pretty interesting myths involving the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. I asked them to share some of these common  misconceptions so we can debunk them!

  • Myth 1: You have to walk every mile of the 3-Day.  The suggested training schedule will prepare you for all 60 miles, but the number of miles you walk is completely up to you. If blisters, aches or pains become an issue, hop on one of our sweep vans for a ride to the next pit stop, and from there you can take a Lunch & Camp Shuttle if you’re done for the day. Your 3-Day journey will be unforgettable whether you walk 60 feet or 60 miles.
3 day breast cancer sweep van susan g komen

Sweeping you off your feet. TaTa Towing Crew team at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day pick up walkers who need a lift.

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The Michigan 3-Day Success

A successful Michigan 3-Day celebrates at the Closing Ceremony at Ford Motor Corporate Headquarters

A successful Michigan 3-Day crowd of walkers celebrates with Dr. Sheri at the Closing Ceremony at Ford Motor Corporate Headquarters

Some of the  highlights of the Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day must include great weather, exciting community support and a great group of veteran and first-time walkers. The weather wasn’t too bad, either, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70′s and 80′s during the day. The Opening Ceremony was a combination of some excellent Zumba, a beautiful sunrise behind Dr. Sheri’s welcome, and a wonderful group of flag bearers and breast cancer survivors.

No one can deny the strong community support for the cause. Private cheering stations dotted the route each day, with a special welcome in the town of Plymouth on Saturday. Not only is the square packed with people cheering on the walkers, but the community continues to dye the town fountain a very appropriate color of pink! From firefighters on Saturday to hundreds of local cheerleading squads on Sunday, the community came out with their full support of the fight to end breast cancer.

Michigan 3-Day friends stop in the shade of Pit Stop 2 on Sunday morning

Michigan 3-Day friends stop in the shade of Pit Stop 2 on Sunday morning

The Milestone Award was given to Barry Blauer at the Camp Show on Friday evening. Barry continues to be a driving force in the campaign to end breast cancer and has shown it with a commitment of over ten years and individual fundraising efforts that top $141,000!  We can’t thank Barry enough for his commitment to the 3-Day family and for his large part in helping Komen fund its mission to end breast cancer.

Barry Blauer receives the Milestone Award at the 2013 Michigan 3-Day

Barry Blauer receives the Milestone Award at the 2013 Michigan 3-Day

As a photographer and writer along with the 3-Day® this year, I was once again moved by the sheer number of extraordinary stories among the participants from personal tragedy-turned-miracle to those who had just lost a mother to cancer. Each person had a profoundly touching story. A boyfriend pushed a participant 60 miles, after she had obtained her funding, but then tragically had broken her foot, which was in a cast.  Without the need for notoriety, he silently moved over the course as attention was often diverted to his girlfriend’s cast. I noticed him stand silently beside, attentive but clearly not interested in the limelight. I saw them multiple times each day, with his limp worsening slowly in one knee. He wore sunglasses and a hat. He rarely spoke. I still do not know his name.

Somehow I felt he was the story of every walker who might never be “known” or tell their story to a large audience. Perhaps I didn’t ask his name because I wanted him to remain the universal walker, one who endured all without recognition. I think that’s who he is.

As the Closing Ceremony commenced, the participants gave tribute to breast cancer survivors without the need for a cue. On one knee and with a shoe held high, the Survivors’ Circle gathered in the middle of the Ceremony and later raised the flag, symbolizing the commitment to find a cure for breast cancer. What an event and what a success. Those who raised money including both the walkers and the crew of the 2013 Michigan 3-Day gathered a staggering $2.6 million. Thank you to all those who made this event in Michigan another wonderful success! See you next year!

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 2013 MICHIGAN 3-DAY

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 1 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.