Tracy D has been a Seattle 3-Day walker over several years, including last weekend’s 2013 event. But Tracy recalls how 2011 tested her in ways very few of us can imagine. Tracy got the news that every breast cancer survivor fears. “I learned that my cancer had spread. I had to endure surgery and 12 treatments of chemotherapy,” Tracy shared. Her hopes for leading Team Tracy to a record-making year were dashed.
Tracy also had to face the fact that she was not in physical condition to walk all 60 miles of her 3-Day journey. “My doctors were skeptical, but I was determined. There was no question I would be there.”
And “there” she was! Tracy completed the 2011 Seattle 3-Day with determination, courage, and a new love for the 3-Day Sweep Crew. “I can honestly say that without them, and the special care they gave me, the 3-Day would not have been possible for me. At every turn, every mile, they made sure I was okay. They called my name from their sweep vans, asking how I was doing.”
“If I didn’t immediately give them a thumbs up, the sweep van would come to a stop, and the crew member would have me assess how I was feeling and what my plan and goals were for the day. The Sweep Crew rock stars were going to make sure my goals were met, no matter what that looked like.”
Tracy’s friends and family positioned themselves strategically at 3-Day cheering stations throughout the weekend. “When I was too weak to walk further, a Sweep Crew team drove me to within a block of the cheering station so I could see my family and friends. The sweep van waited for me on the other side of the exuberant supporters. It was heartwarming the care and special attention I was given.”
On Day 3, Tracy found the strength to walk the final 2 miles with her team, celebrating with the sea of supporters who cheered them on. “I had made it!” recalled Tracy. “I had accomplished my goal. The Sweep Crew had seen to that!”
At the Closing Ceremony, Tracy walked in with the breast cancer survivors and just happened to be positioned in front of the entire Sweep Crew in the Crew section. Tracy recalled, “It was awesome. I was exhausted and emotional. Grateful and proud. Sad for those who weren’t there with us – but very aware that I still was.”