A member of our dedicated 3-Day family, Glen DeKeyser is being featured in the Voices of Impact page of the Susan G. Komen Blog. Click here and enjoy the story of his remarkable 3-Day journey. Glen, you are an inspiration to us all!
All along the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® series this year, participants and crew members had been mentioning why the Komen 3-Day in San Diego was an event of its own. Indeed, every stop along the 14-city tour had its unique and wonderful surprises, but San Diego seemed to embody the mix of California ease with the dedication of groups such as the San Diego Police Department.
The Opening Ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds was an exciting way to kick off the special event, complete with thousands of walkers and hundreds of crew members dancing it up to Zumba and a little community stretching. The walkers danced out onto the route for a 20-mile walk that led through the fabulous community support in Del Mar, by the windy ocean, through Torrey Pines (just a little hill), and back down seaside for a lunch with great views.
The local news agencies gobbled up the scene of the pink walkers that stretched on for miles, as they captured scenes on the ground and from the air. (There were even some local news celebs as registered walkers!) The day was finished strong as walkers pushed on through San Diego and arrived at Crown Point Shores overlooking Mission Bay. The Camp Show Friday evening highlighted Grace Ramirez, who commanded the attention of everyone gathered. What inspiration!
Day 2 on the route led the walkers, assisted by their dedicated crew members, around the breezy (and sometimes chilly!) neighborhoods of San Diego, complete with great views of the Bay and of the ocean. Pit Stop 2 was jazzed up by a local cheerleading group and Bonita Cove provided some extra entertainment for walkers and crew. Pink and red gerbera daisies were once again provided anonymously after lunch, and thousands were handed out to walkers, brightening the final stretches of Day 2. The Camp Show included two amazing speakers who brought the tent to its feet: Eden Becker and John Shinar. It was definitely a Camp Show to remember, capped with games from presenting sponsor Bank of America, some new shoes given out from New Balance, and of course, a legendary dance party.
The route on Day 3 of 16 miles was a fun tour of San Diego with a beautiful walk through De Anza Cove, Mission Hills Park, and the Veterans War Memorial. The route was dotted with walker stalkers and locals who cheered on the walkers. The walkers were met at the finish line with the cheers of a packed area around PETCO Park, filling the sidewalks and public spaces. The Closing Ceremony at PETCO Park was a dramatic finish to the San Diego 3-Day and to the 3-Day season, as the crowd of thousands of walkers, crew, volunteers, and family and friends gathered to celebrate a successful 60-mile walk and to encourage each other on their journey to find a cure. The Survivors’ Circle gathered to raise the flag: “We Will Never Give Up!” and participants danced to “We Are Family” to wrap up another exciting event for San Diego.
See you all next year in San Diego!
“I can barely remember to log into Facebook,” recounts Julie Long who is participating in her 27th Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event this weekend in San Diego, with her daughter, Jordan, who is walking for the first time. “I managed to follow the instructions on The3Day.org and added the Komen 3-Day link to my Facebook page. And so begins the story of the power of Facebook and the kindness of (almost) strangers.”
A few weeks ago, Julie received an email notification that a $200 donation had been made to her 3-Day fundraising. ”The name of the donor was listed, and while it sounded familiar, I wasn’t exactly sure who it was,” recalled Julie. ”I went to my Participant Center in the hopes that the donor had left a message which would help me identify who it was.” The message was simple:
‘Julie, congratulations on participating in this wonderful event. I stumbled upon your site and since I have a memory of being in your 8th grade homeroom class the year you lost your mother, I know how personal a cause this must be. I am more than happy to contribute on your behalf. Keep walking, you’re making a difference! Richard P-W.’
Julie continued, “The message might not sound so extraordinary, except that the memory Richard is referring to was an announcement made by my 8th grade homeroom teacher 41 years ago. It’s a memory of a terrible day and a terrible announcement. My teacher did not realize I had returned to school, as my mother died of breast cancer over our spring break. She had not realized that I was sitting there until 32 heads turned towards the back of the room where I sat sobbing.”
Once Julie stopped crying after reading his message, she emailed Richard to thank him. He called and they spoke for several minutes. They had only spoken a handful of times over the years (as often happens with classmates), but he recounted that he had never forgotten that day over the last 41 years.
“The 3-Day has given me an opportunity to share my grief and my hope with a community that is committed to finding a cure for breast cancer,” says Julie with conviction. “It is a world where the kindness of strangers is not uncommon. My link on Facebook and my 3-Day story reminded someone of an event over 41 years ago, and turned someone who was essentially a stranger into a treasured friend.”
Say hello to Julie and Jordan today as they finish their 60 miles of walking for a cure on the San Diego 3-Day, and tell us about your miraculous fundraising stories!