Love In the Air at the 2014 Michigan 3-Day

It’s hard to believe that the 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season is winding down, with five out of seven Komen 3-Day events already in the books. We’ve shared so many beautiful experiences out there on the road with our wonderful participants, and have created memories that will last a lifetime.

One story that caught our attention and warmed our hearts happened in Michigan at the first 3-Day® event of the year. A day or so before the event started, we got a tip that one of the Michigan walkers, Amanda S., was going to get the surprise of her life at the famous Plymouth cheering station.

Amanda, who resides in Ohio, was walking in the 3-Day for the third time with her team, BreastFriends4Life. Her mom passed away from breast cancer in 2006, and Amanda got involved with the 3-Day as a way to honor her memory. “I decided to go for it. I thought, 60 miles? That’s easy. I can do that, no problem, compared to what I watched my mother endure during her battle.”

While out with friends one night in 2011, about a year after her first 3-Day, Amanda met David. “I saw David on the dance floor—he had some moves! We made eye contact across the dance floor and I thought to myself, okay this is your moment, make it count!” They hit it off and began dating right away. As Amanda puts it, “The rest is history! We’ve been inseparable ever since.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk michigan proposal amanda david

Jump ahead to Day 2 of the 2014 Michigan 3-Day, and Amanda was approaching a cheering station around midday. She knew David would be there to support her, as he had been so many times before, but didn’t expect much more than a hug and some encouraging words. “When I got to the cheering station in Plymouth, my aunt told me Dave had left to use the bathroom. Perfect, I thought, now I can rest my feet for a few more minutes before my team makes me walk again!” But Amanda started to notice something was going on. “I couldn’t figure out why random people were taking pictures of me, why weren’t my teammates getting in the pictures, why is there a crew person taking my picture. Suddenly my aunt says ‘Oh, there’s Dave,’ and points behind me.” Amanda turned to see the love of her life, down on one knee, holding a sign. “My first thought honestly was why is he down on his knees? Second thought was, what does that sign say? And my third thought, which I spoke out loud was, What are you doing? I was so confused for the first 60 seconds and then it hit me – HE’S PROPOSING – AT THE 3-DAY – ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE STARING AT ME!” Amanda said yes, of course.

Even though she had talked with David many times about their plans to get married someday, Amanda was genuinely surprised by her 3-Day proposal. “I had told him before that I wanted my proposal to be special and romantic. And my number one rule was DON’T do it in front of a large crowd! He obviously did not listen to that part, but it’s okay!”

Asking Amanda to marry him at the 3-Day carried a deeper importance to the couple too. “David really wanted to bring my mom into our proposal. He knows how much she means to me and how much I miss her every day, so to him this was the perfect way to have her with me during this very special moment. He even said to me after the proposal, ‘You know your mom is with you right now and she’s smiling.’ He’s just so sweet.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk michigan proposal amanda david

Amanda shared that she was surprised, excited and very moved by David’s proposal. “He put a lot of thought into what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it and how to bring my mother into it. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

We give our warmest congratulations to Amanda and David, and wish them the lifetime of happiness they deserve.

Meet the Atlanta 3-Day Coaches!

Every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event has a core team of three coaches, each of whom plays a different role in helping our walkers and crew members prepare for the Komen 3-Day. For months, these dedicated staffers have been having personal conversations with walkers to help them with their training and fundraising, have hosted dozens of local events to bring participants together and build a community of encouragement, and have organized and inspired the amazing team of crew captains and crew members.

Let’s meet the coaches for the Atlanta 3-Day®!

Tara Preyers – Atlanta Local Events Coach

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Tara and her (literally) sparkling personality!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Living my passion through inspiration, fanny packs and boas!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “It’s a bit of a mumbo-jumbo. I’m working on all things to paint the route pink and with hugs, high fives and treats. Spending lots of time finalizing all of the little pieces that I’ve been working on all year long. Making “to-do” list after “to-do” list and crossing things off with excitement. I also travel to all of the 3-Day events, so I’ve been busy. Oh, and decorating for my favorite season…FALL!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet; 2) I have a serious bag obsession (purses, duffels, reusable, you name it, I need lots of them!); 3) I could eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

 

Susan Wynne – Atlanta Participant Coach

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Photo booth fun with Susan and family

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “I help our incredible participants do great things!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Super busy! As the event gets closer, we’re working on last minute donations, helping participants get checked in, and lots of event-related questions. I get to talk to people about what they have done to get to this point, and hear the stories about what brought them to the 3-Day. I have loved getting to know our participants through all of our phone and email interactions over the last few months, and I can’t wait to see everyone in person in a couple of weeks!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “I’m pretty much an open book (or not that interesting) because I don’t think there is much that people don’t know about me, but here’s a shot: 1) I think I’m secretly a 13 year old girl. I love all the pop music, TV shows, and silly stuff that comes along with that age; 2) I played the flute in high school and can still whip out a pretty good tune; 3) I can’t live without coffee or my new addiction of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds with sea-salt and turbinado sugar. Both are integral to my success in getting through the day.”

 

Libby Riordan – Atlanta Crew & Volunteer Coordinator

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Ready to show her meal no mercy!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Supporting and empowering the awesome Atlanta Crew!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Most of my days leading up to event are spent communicating with captains and crew members and delivering all of the final details. I always tell people that the 3-Day is like planning a wedding. You spend months getting ready, planning, and preparing, but lots of things change before the big day. It gets a little crazy towards the end making sure that the captains have everything they need and that every crew is ready to rock on event!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I love to sing. I can listen to a song once and know all the words! It drives my friends crazy; 2) I was on a home makeover TV show where we turned my friend’s backyard into a beach. Lots of sand!; 3) I knew I wanted work for the 3-Day after the Opening Ceremony the first time I walked, in 2005.”

 

 

Going to be at the Atlanta 3-Day? Come meet coaches Tara and Susan at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, between 6-7 p.m. in the 3-Day Lounge.

Let’s hear it for the 3-Day men! A guest post by Dr. Sheri

Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and nearly 2,000 cases are diagnosed in men. So that’s one case in men for every 100 cases in women. While male breast cancer is rare, it is real.

At each Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, men show up strong and proud. They may not have experienced breast cancer themselves but their wives, mothers, sisters or best friends have. Our great men are people of integrity and values that they will not compromise. They are men who put their families first and would protect them with their own lives.

Photo of Dr. Sheri with several long-time 3-Day Walkers

Dr. Sheri with several long-time 3-Day Walkers

Every one of the men on the Komen 3-Day has shown himself as a person who’s willing to help anyone who needs it. Come torrential downpours or Nor’easter snowstorms, they are there when called. These men are so respectful of other people’s feelings and needs, but each holds his position highly and never retreats from negative situations, but only stays in them to make peace.

Women (myself included) say good men are hard to find but they are out there, especially on the 3-Day.  Now ladies, I’m not advocating the 3-Day as a way to meet men, but I’ve lost count of the number of engagements, anniversaries, honeymoons and even marriages that have occurred on a 3-Day. Just saying! The signs of a good man are easy to spot because he practices random acts of kindness (for you and/or strangers), can turn a boring task into something fun, hardly ever complains and is passionate about life, his work and you.

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A guy’s own dependability, his ability to both lead and follow when necessary and his perseverance through hardships all make up a true man. A man should be proud of his accomplishments and ensure he is not ruled by his fears and insecurities. A good man ought to look back at how he has grown and laugh at his weaknesses while also strengthening them.

Whether a man realizes it or not, he has the capacity to lead others. 3-Day Men—-you inspire us, and we thank you for all that you do!

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