A Friend from the Past

Julie and Jordan finish off Day 2 on the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day

Julie and Jordan finish off Day 2 on the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day

“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.”

The walkers on the Komen 3-Day in San Diego line up to start the route

The walkers on the San Diego 3-Day line up to start the route

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.

Julie and Jorden in traditional pink tutus, take on the San Diego 3-Day route on the final day of walking

Julie and Jorden, in traditional pink tutus, take on the San Diego 3-Day route on the final day of walking

“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!

Lauren Inspires with Many Miles

On every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event, a special award is given to one individual who has contributed above and beyond in terms of fundraising and commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer. At the Komen 3-Day this year in San Diego, Lauren Wagner is being recognized for her amazing contribution to the 3-Day by participating in San Diego for the past eight years. “It’s hard to believe that I have raised almost $73,000 over eight years of walking and fundraising,” mentioned Lauren. “My inspiration to start walking came from my brother, ‘Moto Crew Michael’ who lost his wife Sally to breast cancer,” explained Lauren. “She was only 39 years old.” Michael began crewing in 2003, and Lauren first walked the 60-mile route in 2005. Even though she became involved in the 3-Day because of Sally, she continues to walk for friends and family – many of whom are survivors, but she also walks for some who have passed.

Lauren accepts the Milestone Award from Dr. Sheri on Friday night of the San Diego 3-Day

Lauren accepts the Milestone Award from Dr. Sheri on Friday night of the San Diego 3-Day

Lauren’s success in fundraising each year seems easy when she follows her own advice. She starts early, asks everyone, and especially lets them all know why she is walking. “Make it a little fun, too,” she says, “I’ve thrown Pink Bunco parties (aka ‘Bunco for Boobs’) which is a great way to raise a lot of money quickly while having fun with your friends and neighbors. (Oh, and you will be amazed at how many restaurants and local stores will donate gift cards, food, or items to be raffled off or used as Bunco prizes!)” Lauren’s infectious energy continues on to the event itself, even though it is before dawn on Friday morning.

Lauren breezes into camp after the first 20 miles of Day 1 of the San Diego 3-Day

Lauren breezes into camp after the first 20 miles of Day 1 of the San Diego 3-Day

“I keep coming back because I know that I am a part of something bigger!” Lauren’s excitement for the event seems to radiate onto all those around her. “We celebrate breast cancer survivors, we honor those who have lost their battle, and we help raise money and awareness to find a cure.” Lauren has some advice for the first-timers as well: “Once you get to the event, CELEBRATE! Enjoy your time, and don’t worry if you can’t walk all 60 miles. You did the hard part by raising the money. Now, take a deep breath, look around, and talk to all those other amazing walkers and crew, and enjoy the experience!”

A big salute to Lauren this weekend on the San Diego 3-Day!

Lauren celebrates Day 2 of the San Diego 3-Day with teammates and friends at Pit Stop 1

Top Fundraisers at San Diego 3-Day Announced

Congratulations to all of the walkers today who pounded out the first 20 miles of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego. We were treated to a gorgeous sunrise in Del Mar and a picturesque day overlooking the ocean as walkers, assisted by their dedicated crew, took in the sunshine of southern California. The Camp Show this evening was full of fun and laughter as presenting sponsor Bank of America had a few select walkers strutting their stuff for prizes on stage. As is the custom on Friday nights at the Camp Show, Bank of America and Dr. Sheri presented the top fundraisers for the 2013 Komen San Diego 3-Day.

Top Crew Fundraiser: Aubrey Cushing, $2,310; (Team ‘Walk With Me’)

Aubrey Cushing is recognized with the top crew fundraising award

Aubrey Cushing is recognized with the top crew fundraising award

Top Fundraising Team: Powered by Optimism, $257,247; (Captain Amy Benoit)

Amy Benoit is awarded both the Top Training Walker Leader and as Captain of the top fundraising team

Amy Benoit is awarded both the Top Training Walk Leader and as Captain of the top fundraising team

Top Individual Fundraiser: Stephanie Capaccio, $45,842; (Team ‘Tulips for Tatas’)

Stephanie Capacchio is recognized as the San Diego 3-Day Top Individual Fundraiser

Stephanie Capacchio is recognized as the San Diego 3-Day Top Individual Fundraiser

Congratulations to these fabulous fundraisers and the to the dedication of everyone walking this weekend on the San Diego 3-Day! Good luck on Day 2!