Dr. Sheri’s Michigan 3-Day Experience: Family Is What You Make It

The 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series officially kicked off in Michigan August 15-17, and Michigan exploded with excitement, enthusiasm and commitment. We were graced with three days of beautiful weather, no liquid sunshine to speak of and a team of 375 volunteer crew members who gave untiringly of themselves to make this event a success. Nine hundred walkers showed up at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on Friday morning all smiles, their New Balance shoes laced and stories of triumph ready to fuel our three-day journey.

Dr. Sheri welcoming home the last Michigan Walker on Friday, August 15

Dr. Sheri welcoming home the last Michigan Walker on Friday, August 15

On Day One, I saw a couple at the first cheering station who approached me while holding hands. I thanked them for walking and told them how adorable they looked and as they passed, they both looked back over their shoulder and yelled simultaneously, “We’re on our honeymoon!” At first I was amazed but then I remembered where I was – the Komen 3-Day! I’ve come to realize that just about anything good and pure is possible at the 3-Day®. I later heard that another couple got engaged at one of the pit stops on the same day. Love was truly in the air.

My husband Dr. Donald rearranged his work schedule so he could join me during this event. On Sunday evening he looked at me with the biggest smile on his face and said, “I really love the 3-Day! I’ve never seen such purposeful commitment and dedication as I have repeatedly seen on every 3-Day I’ve attended.”

We are a family. There’s a famous quote that reads “Family is what you make it.” Together we have made a powerful stand in the fight to end breast cancer. We have proven ourselves strong, committed, determined and driven by a common goal. Whether made of blood relatives, friends or a combination of these, your family can offer you the support you need to thrive. Barbara Bush once said, “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” We were there for each other in Michigan and we will continue to embrace and carry each other throughout this upcoming season.

Part 4 of the ABC’s of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Crew

Welcome to part four of the ABC’s of the Komen 3-Day Crew! We’ve shared letters A – EF – J, K – O, and this week, we’re excited to present letters P through T. We invite you to tell us your ideas for each letter here or on Facebook, and to share these images with your family and friends. (To see the 3-Day walker version of the ABC’s, click here!)

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“Rest, Refuel, Relieve Yourself” is the unofficial motto of the 3-Day pit stops. Pit stops are magical little worlds that are themed, decorated, staffed with costumed crew members, and strategically located along the route every 3-4 miles. You’ll find snacks, water, sports drinks, medical attention (in case you need it), cheerleaders and so much more at each and every pit stop, and you’re never very far from the next one!

 

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The 3-Day is an exciting event, full of cheering and music and talking. However, some of our 3-Day neighbors appreciate peace and quiet in the early morning hours, so you’ll notice Quiet Zone signs – put in place by our dedicated Route Marking crew members – as you stroll through certain parts of the route. Please be mindful of the people that live in these neighborhoods who are trying to rest and relax.

SGK_3-Day_SocialMedia_RisforRouteMarking

How do we keep hundreds of 3-Day walkers from getting lost on the route? Great route signage! The Route Marking crew heads out on the route early to hang hundreds of directional arrows and safety reminders, and then takes them down after everyone is gone. You’ll probably never see a Route Marking crew member in action, but we’d be lost without them!

See also: Route Safety, Route Hydration, Route clean-up

SGK_3-Day_SocialMedia_SisforSweepVan

Sweep vans are driven by crew members along the route all day, ready to pick up anyone who needs to stop walking for a bit. Sweep vans are elaborately decorated, themed and musically accompanied “mobile love and encouragement units.” Sometimes, walkers feel disappointed if they have to rely on a sweep van, but we can’t emphasize enough that there is NO shame in taking a sweep. In fact, a lot of people would agree that you haven’t fully experienced the 3-Day until you’ve taken a ride in a sweep van.

See also: Support ServicesSports Medicine

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When you walk into a 3-Day pit stop, lunch stop, or Grab & Go, you never know what kind of magical land you might be entering. Oz? A bee hive? The 1950s? A storybook fairy tale land? Themes are just one of the many fun ways Crew teams contribute to the 3-Day.

See also: Traffic Control

 

What other people, places, or things can you think of for these letters? Share here or with us on Facebook.

David of Cleveland Cleavage and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Community

Those who know the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® know that above all, the Komen 3-Day is a family. New and returning participants alike are greeted with open arms, warmly welcomed into a bold community that is bravely fighting breast cancer with passion, drive and stamina. We caught up with David G. and several of his Cleveland Cleavage teammates, to learn more about what the 3-Day® means to them.

David and his Cleveland Cleavage teammate Tina head to the lunch stop on Day 3 of the Michigan 3-Day.

David and his Cleveland Cleavage teammate Tina head to the lunch stop on Day 3 of the Michigan 3-Day.

David’s friendly blue eyes twinkle as he recounts his numerous 3-Day events; all told, David has raised over $24,000 in the 11 3-Day events he’s been a part of (nine as a walker and two as a crew member). David became involved in the Komen community in 2005 by participating in several Race for the Cure® events in Cleveland with Nancy, a decades-long friend who was battling breast cancer. David decided to walk the 3-Day for her and several other people in his life who were lost to cancer. “I decided to surprise her in 2010 and told her that I was going to be doing the 3-Day. She was over the moon happy. I did it in July of 2010 in Cleveland, did the final Race for the Cure with her two months later, and then about three weeks later she took her final turn, after a ten year fight. I walk for her, and for my grandma, my best friend, my neighbor. I’m walking for them all,” said David.

Like David, his new Cleveland Cleavage teammate Rachel K., from Macomb, Michigan, also has a very personal connection to the cause. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Rachel remembers those she’s walking for as a way to keep her inspired on the route. “I always remember the reasons why I’m walking. Don’t forget, because those people are cheering you on. That’s what gets me through.” Rachel walked the 3-Day once before in 2008. (Fun fact: Rachel joined the Cleveland Cleavage team after seeing the team’s photos on Instagram!)

In addition to Rachel, David was joined this weekend in Michigan by several other members of the Cleveland Cleavage team, and his face lights up as he describes his love for Cleveland. “Born there, raised there, lived there my entire life. I love Cleveland!” While the team’s name is inspired by the Ohio city, the sixteen members of the team (including one Youth Corps member) are from all over the country, including Michigan, California, Kansas, Missouri, and Virginia. “We’ve got half the country represented,” David jokes.

What does this bunch think of walking Michigan, even when their team names boasts an allegiance to Cleveland? “I could almost throw a rock at Michigan from there,” David says of Cleveland. “I’m blessed to still be so close to an event,” he said. “I’m driving to Philly and flying to San Diego, so distance won’t deter me.” He adds, “Plymouth was the most awesome cheering station I’ve ever seen.” That’s saying a lot, from a guy with David’s level of experience.

David and Jodi, a member of Cleveland Cleavage

David and Jodi, a member of Cleveland Cleavage

David’s love of the Cleveland community also echoes in the way he’s successfully raised funds over the years. David describes his fundraising efforts as creative and local, including several types of events like bowling parties and wing nights. “I just try to come up with new things,” he said.

It’s a pleasure talking with David and his teammates, and before we know it, their lunch break has ended and they’re ready to keep moving. I know that with the Michigan 3-Day Closing Ceremony just a few hours away, this may be the last time I see David on this event, but I smile knowing I’ll spot his tall, smiling personage in more 2014 3-Day cities. His parting thoughts? “Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the people. Enjoy the atmosphere. If you walk all 60, great. But you’ve already done the hard part by fundraising to get here. And that’s where you help the cause. The walk is a celebration of that.”