An important message about the 2021 3-Day Series

Your commitment to show up for the 3-Day community and to support Susan G. Komen shows your dedication to the fight to save lives from breast cancer. YOU ARE AWESOME and we thank you.

Due to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued risk to our community, we are making a change to this year’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series. Registered 3-Day Walkers and Crew have a message in their inbox with all of the details.

We’ll have two 3-Day experiences this year for you to participate in. The San Diego 3-Day is scheduled to happen, as planned, in-person on November 19-21, 2021. We also have a new option this year—3-Day Nation, which will bring the 3-Day to you, at home, in your communities. We won’t be hosting our indoor, hotel-based events in New England, Chicago, and Dallas/Fort Worth. Instead, registrants for these events will be given the option to transfer to the San Diego 3-Day or 3-Day Nation. 

We’re in the process of updating the website with more information about these changes. You can find more details at http://the3day.co/update and in your Participant Center.

Through it all, especially in the Medical Tent, Hal G. shows PERSEVERANCE | Word of the Year

Next up in our “Word of the Year” series, meet Hal G. and learn in his own words why he chose perseverance.

I have participated in three events as part of the Medical Crew—Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019 as well as New England in 2019. I am registered to walk for the first time in San Diego 2021.

My experiences at the 3-Day events have been great. I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful people who have come together in support of people they know and don’t know. It’s about making the future brighter for friends and strangers alike…incredible people filled with hope finding a common mission of advancing breast cancer diagnosis, research, and treatment.

As part of the Medical Crew, I feel honored to be part of the 3-Day. My colleagues and I are dedicated to helping the participants finish what they started. I am at the event to help each individual achieve their own goal.

The days start early and end late as we have clinic before the route is open and afterwards into the evening. We provide medical care along the route with a team of incredible medical professionals and assistants. It is truly a well-coordinated team effort with each member doing their part to get each and every participant the care they need and to keep them safe.

My word of the year is Perseverance.

Perseverance is my word of the year as 2020 was a year filled with remarkable and unprecedented challenges. 

I participate in the 3-Day because of my girlfriend, Christine. We started dating in July 2014. Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer in December the following year. She and I never really talked about this again but as tears were streaming down her face in shock from her diagnosis she said to me, “This is more than you bargained for. If you want out of the relationship I understand”. I am still here. We are still here.

Christine had surgery and radiation treatment and now has ongoing medical management and surveillance. After recovering from the stress and fatigue of treatment, Christine set her sights on walking the 3-Day. It was a monumental milestone in her emotional and physical recovery.

Christine has now completed three events, two as a walker and one as crew. We will be walking in San Diego together.

In December 2020, Christine became a 5-year survivor.

The 3-Day family to me is a gathering of people coming together to combat a common adversary. It is a group of individuals magnifying their strengths exponentially as they join the Pink Bubble. It is a reminder that nobody has to fight alone…there are friends we know and friends we haven’t met yet that are working together to improve lives today and for future generations.

My word of the year, Perseverance, embodies much of the 3-Day experience. Perseverance is about overcoming an obstacle. It’s defined as weathering a storm or difficult situation in life with strong determination. I have seen and treated many in the Medical tent and base camp who display a singlemindedness toward achievement. Also, perseverance can last for a lifetime.

The message I would like to share with the Pink Bubble is that you matter. You are important. What you do helps others. In this time of extraordinary challenges look for the good. The Pink Bubble is part of the good, and the Pink Bubble is not the same without you.

One thing that surprised me about volunteering for the 3-Day is that in helping others an unexpected side effect was that I helped myself. I didn’t see that coming. 

Thank you, Hal. As we move through 2021, we’re honored by the perseverance we see you and the Pink Bubble family show as we overcome obstacles together.

Other Word of the Year Blog Posts

Tracie G. is ready to INSPIRE everyone around her in 2021 | Word of the Year

Carolyn P.’s Heart is Filled with Generosity in 2021 | Word of the Year

Riley W. Chooses To Walk Into 2021 Being GRATEFUL | Word of the Year

My Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Story

By San Diego 3-Day Walker, Niki W.

I started doing the 3-Day in 2008 because a few of my fellow teacher friends invited me. I thought it was a perfect way to fundraise money towards breast cancer research, as I had lost a couple friends to this horrible disease. I also thought it would be a great way to spend time with these friends and to get exercise. I walked in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. I plan on walking in 2021 as well.

In the midst of everything else that 2020 brought my way, I found a very large lump in November, in my right breast.

I went in two days later, and my OBGYN said it felt too big to be cancer and not to worry about it. She scheduled some tests anyway for December but told me it was probably nothing. I cancelled my appointments and moved them to January because the December tests conflicted with our holiday plans, and I figured it didn’t matter since my doctor had said not to worry.

I finally went in for the tests on January 18 and had a mammogram, an ultrasound, and blood tests. My mammogram came out normal but they were able to see the lump on the ultrasound and my lymph nodes were very enlarged. They scheduled a biopsy for February 3. On February 5, I was walking with a friend on the beach when my OBGYN doctor called and said that I had an invasive carcinoma tumor 7X6 cm that had already spread to my lymph nodes.

I was in shock for several days and stopped sleeping and didn’t have an appetite. The next two weeks were a blur of appointments, scans, and more, as I found out that I needed to start chemo right away for six months, then surgery (double mastectomy) followed by radiation, reconstruction and hormone therapy for five-ten years.

Once I got my test results back and learned that I was only Stage 3 and the cancer had not yet moved to my organs, I was able to get my hope back! I am now continuously leaning on God each day and knowing that he is here with me through this. 

My hair started falling out in early March.  After I couldn’t take it anymore, four of my 3-Day friends arranged an outdoor haircut in my backyard so that I would have support during this traumatic time. I woke up that morning thinking that this would be the hardest day of my life, and my stomach was in knots all morning. However, when they arrived all wearing cowboy boots and hats and blasting country music (my favorite!), I couldn’t help but smile. Throughout the haircut, I was filled with gratitude for these amazing friends being with me during this really difficult time. They turned my sadness into joy, and it became one of the most special, intimate afternoons of my life.

My friends and family (and particularly my 3-Day team) have been amazing and have been here for every step along the way with cards, gifts, flowers, and meals. They even added my name to our 3-Day team logo so that we will now be walking for me as well as many other teachers from our school who have fought the battle and survived! I can’t wait to walk in November and be at the other side of this battle and able to spread my hope to others. 

My message for others is to not give up hope and to rely on your faith, family, and friends to get you through this. You can’t do it alone and you will need their support! Embrace it and don’t reject it. There will be so many blessings if you allow other people in.