Congratulations to the Seattle 3-Day’s Milestone Award Winner, Tina M.!

Join us in congratulating the Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award winner, Tina McDonough, who was recognized in camp on Saturday of the Seattle event. Tina first walked the 3-Day in 2007 in Seattle, and has walked a total of 11 times (8 in Seattle and 3 in San Diego). She’ll make it an even dozen when she walks in San Diego this November. Tina is the captain of Valley Girls & Guys, Seattle’s largest team (which also has a San Diego team). Between their Seattle and San Diego teams, Valley Girls & Guys has raised over $1.8 million for Susan G. Komen® since 2007.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

While Tina’s legendary status with the 3-Day has been firmly established, her start with the event was humble and strikingly similar to many: she was recruited by friends to walk in memory of a friend’s sister. That first year, Tina also dedicated her walk to her friend Michelle, who was battling a cancer recurrence at the time. Tina recalls, “We walked that year and I swore I would be back volunteering my time not walking (as we did not train and I hurt super bad). But then that December, Michelle passed away at 38. Watching her husband and daughter fall apart at her funeral I thought to myself, I can’t not do anything. So I formed a team. That foursome team has turned into a 180 walkers between Seattle and San Diego and quickly became my life passion. I am doing exactly what I was meant to do and we will never give up until we find a cure!”

Tina shared that the Valley Girls & Guys team had 15 survivors within its ranks last year alone, and those brave teammates are a big part of what brings Tina back to the 3-Day year after year. “I feel like if I give up or quit doing the 3-Day I would be giving up on them, and I will never give up on any survivor/friend! This is my second family and I love every single one of them with all my heart!”

With nearly $2 million raised by Valley Girls & Guys in less than a decade, we had to ask Tina about the secret to her team’s 3-Day fundraising success. “Our team secret is we are family! We would do anything for each other and we do our fundraising together as a team. We have a huge March fun night out (coming up on our 8th year this coming March) where we typically raise over $150,000, and any teammates who participate, attend, etc. receive monies towards their fundraising. Just that one event gets many of our team members halfway to their fundraising goal.” Tina knows that that boost of help and the ongoing support from the team family is usually enough to get everyone motivated to succeed.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

Apart from participating in the 3-Day, Tina and her team show remarkable support for the breast cancer community in other ways too. Since February of 2013, Valley Girls & Guys have made and sent 284 personalized blankets, which they call blankets of “comfort and hope,” to cancer patients and survivors all over the U.S., and as far as Germany and Australia (each blanket is created with a photo of the team, and inspirational quote and the recipient’s name). Tina also shared an exciting new endeavor that the team is about to begin: “The other thing our team is starting is The Who House – Harnessing the Power of Community to Support Cancer Patients and Their Families. I have an office in [the Seattle area] that we are going to open up after hours Monday-Friday for those going through cancer, co-survivors, youth and those who have lost loved ones, as a place they can come talk, get support and have resources to reach out to. We have huge plans for this and are excited to get it started and off the ground.” Tina is a realtor by profession, and not surprisingly, she received the 2013 REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award, which recognizes realtors who have made an extraordinary impact on their community, or on the national or world stage, through volunteer work.

What is Tina’s best advice for someone thinking about doing the 3-Day? “Just do it and join a team if you can! ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ (TEAM) and in this case it means not only fundraising money, but you get so much more than what you will ever put in which is amazing. You end up with an experience of a lifetime, lifelong friends, and you are part of something bigger than you and making a huge impact/difference in the world!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

We extend our warm congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Tina and her Valley Girls & Guys teammates for their exceptional dedication to a world without breast cancer.

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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The 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Seattle Wrap Up

 

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What a weekend we had at the 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle! The Seattle Center was the perfect backdrop for an inspiring and moving Opening Ceremony, with the Space Needle glowing behind the Fisher Pavilion. After a beautiful sunrise, we were reminded why we walk and crew by Dr. Sheri, moved by amazing survivor and participant stories, and headed out with our first steps, passing by the Experience Music Project Museum. Walkers crossed the famous I-90 Floating Bridge, were cheered on by the amazing Seattle community at the Park on the Lid on Mercer Island, and then enjoyed lunch at the ‘3-Day Diner’, complete with retro music, at Bellevue Park.

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After lunch and a stop by the Paradise themed pit stop, it was off to Mile 14.5, where walkers posed at the beautiful Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Into Redmond, we got a little more pep in our step from an energetic cheering station at Idylwood Park, complete with spectators handing out delicious snacks and holding heartfelt signs. After 22.9 miles, we arrived into camp at the gorgeous Marymoor Park, where the sea of pink tents popped against the blue and orange sunset. We got to meet Seattle’s top fundraisers, played a few games with our friends at Bank of America, and heard an inspirational story from Survivor Dottie C. We headed to bed empowered by the reminders of why we walk.

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Seattle’s characteristic gray skies set the scene for Day 2, but the gray cloud clover was appreciated as walkers embarked on the 20.8-mile route. At Mile 5.6, the Lake Washington Waterfront featured pit stop 2, also an amazing photo opportunity as walkers said ‘Cheese’ with passing boats in the background. At Heritage Park, cheerleaders created an enthusiastic tunnel of sparkly pink pom-poms. The community came out in full support, some serving handmade snacks like cream-cheese stuffed celery sticks, and some serving frozen Gatorade mocktails. At this point, the sun broke through the clouds, revealing a radiant blue sky, just in time for lunch under the trees at Juanita Beach Park. At Mile 20.8, walkers arrived home to camp, where they heard Sarah L. share her moving Survivor story, and series-walker William K. shared his many reasons why he walks.

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Day 3 began with a quick bus ride toward Seattle, and after 2.4 miles, walkers were treated with pit stop 1 at Gas Works Park, set against a sweeping view of the Seattle skyline. Then it was on to the Ballard Locks, a unique series of interlocking bridges between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal.

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The community, complete with dogs decked out in feather boas, and energetic cheerleaders, kept walkers going onwards to lunch, and then on to the majestic sights of Magnolia Viewpoint.

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At Mile 16.3, walkers celebrated their victory by heading back to the Seattle Center, rallied by the sights and sounds of hundreds of people in pink. As our crew, volunteers, wlkers, and survivors marched into the Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center, with the Space Needle standing proudly behind us, we were overcome with a fierce sense of dedication and triumph. With the help of 925 walkers and 275 crew, we raised $2.7 million dollars, and are now 3 days and 60 miles closer to the end of breast cancer forever. Thank you, Seattle.

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