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!

Seven Years Later…San Diego

Tiffany K starts the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego for the first time...after seven years

Tiffany K starts the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego for the first time…after seven years

“When my grandmother was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 1989, I made the move from Dallas to Oklahoma to be her primary caregiver,” said Tiffany this morning on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego.

“I was only fourteen years old.”

“My family told me to call them in Texas if anything serious happened.” Tiffany’s experience helping her grandmother through treatment must have added to her determination in life. (Her grandmother is now a survivor of over 24 years!) Seven years ago, she successfully registered for the Komen 3-Day in Dallas and raised over $5,000, well above the minimum needed to walk the 60 miles. And then a walker’s nightmare occurred. “I had an almost full rupture of my Achilles tendon just ten days before the event,” said Tiffany resting in Pit Stop 1 after the first segment of Friday’s 20-mile course along beautiful Del Mar, California. The recovery from such a tear can be tedious and exhausting, and it put her out of walking a 3-Day® for years.

Team members of 'Cliff's Crew' walk with new teammate Tiffany K on the San Diego 3-Day

Team members of ‘Cliff’s Crew’ walk with new teammate Tiffany K on the San Diego 3-Day

In the meantime, Tiffany moved to Playa del Rey, California, and decided that 2013 would be the time to finally walk the 3-Day. “I’m going to make this happen!” she said to herself. She knew, however, that the walk would be easier with team support, and so she logged onto ‘The3Day.org’ website and started to post to the forums to see if she could join up with a team. “Team ‘Cliff’s Crew’ answered the call for me, and I felt good about walking with them after having met them a few times,” mentioned Tiffany, as some of the pink camoflage-clad members of the team approached.

Kellie T from Rossmoor, California, and Jeanne F from Santa Maria were ready to head back on the route. “We have 42 members total on the San Diego 3-Day this year,” they explained, “and we’re in the top five teams for fundraising with over $85,000!”

Say ‘hello’ to Tiffany on her first 3-Day this weekend in San Diego and to her great team ‘Cliff’s Crew’!

What Every Mom Wants

Deven F awaits Opening Ceremony of the Washington D.C. 3-Day

Deven F awaits the Opening Ceremony of the Washington, D.C. 3-Day

“I can’t take the breast cancer away from her,” explained Deven F this morning in the dark. “So when I saw a Susan G. Komen 3-Day® ad on TV, I thought, ‘That’s what I have to do!'” Deven’s mother Judi was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago and is now a two-year survivor. “I just registered online in 2011, and the 3-Day started sending me all the paperwork. That’s when my mom asked me what I was doing.” Deven’s smile was contagious, even in a steady rain, on a chilly October morning. He is joining almost 1,000 participants today who will walk 60 miles over three days to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Judy and Deven cruise through Pit Stop 1 on the rain in Washington D.C. 3-Day

Judi and Deven cruise through Pit Stop 1 in the rain in Washington, D.C.

“I chose the team name ‘Not Another Mom’ for obvious reasons,” said Deven, “but I also had a co-worker pass away from breast cancer in 2011, and so I see how it affects people.” As he talked, some past walkers greet him, a sign of his past influence on the route here in Washington, D.C.

Deven and Judi were front and center at the high-energy Opening Ceremony, despite the rain. ‘If every mom could have a child as committed and caring as Deven,’ I think as they rolled into Pit Stop 1 right on time and looking good. “I’m a survivor!” says Judi from underneath her poncho, and stopped for a picture. She is all smiles on her first 3-Day adventure, and has all the support she needs.

Judy and Deven experience the emotional and uplifting Opening Ceremony of the Washington D.C. 3-Day

Judi and Deven experience the emotional and uplifting Opening Ceremony of the Washington D.C. 3-Day

I asked Deven about what it’s like to be a man on the Washington, D.C. 3-Day, and he responded: “I don’t see why there aren’t more men! This is always fun when you’re one of the only men. There are so many great people out here, and we have to support those with breast cancer and to help find a cure.”

Give a shout out to Deven and Judi in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and share some of your own stories about who is helping you!