A member of our dedicated 3-Day family, Glen DeKeyser is being featured in the Voices of Impact page of the Susan G. Komen Blog. Click here and enjoy the story of his remarkable 3-Day journey. Glen, you are an inspiration to us all!
“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.”
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.
“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!
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’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.
“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!