3-Day Participant Showcase Fundraising Webinar

Fundraising during a global pandemic presents unique, unprecedented challenges, but we’re honored and excited to showcase the many ways our 3-Day participants are continuing to fundraise in this webinar from October 15, 2020.

We discussed ways to raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, including some general fundraising tips and ideas from fellow 3-Day participants who shared what’s worked for them.

In addition to hearing from fellow participants, Coach Molly and Coach Tisho (seasoned peer-to-peer fundraisers) gave a boost of motivation to help participants take their 3-Day fundraising to the next level.

We covered creative ideas and ways to maximize your Participant Center, Facebook fundraising, mobile check deposit, matching gifts, and more.

As Coach Tisho said, “We just keep learning from each other.”

If you have more questions, please send them to us via the comments!

Webinar Screenshot

The Deepwater Dames and the Heli-Deck Walk

Every once in a while, we hear a story from one of our Susan G. Komen 3-Day participants that really captures our imagination. That reminds us, “We are part of something really, truly special.” When Michelle Yelovina told us the story of her team, the Deepwater Dames, and how they commemorated the 2020 Chicago 3-Day that wasn’t, we knew we had to share it with all of you.

We’ll let Michelle tell it in her own words.

“I’m team captain for the Deepwater Dames. We are a team of women who work offshore on an oil drilling ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Normally I walk alone and have been supported and sponsored for the last 10 years by my coworkers out here (I’m offshore now). Last year while I walked the San Diego 3-Day, one of the rigs I was formerly on held their own “3-Day helideck walk.” They walked laps around the deck where the helicopter lands (23 laps make a mile). They logged the miles and the captain and clients pledged $1 a mile. As a group the crew walked a total of 242 miles during those three days and raised almost $3,500 for me.

“This year I recruited some of the ladies I work with (there are just a few) and we formed the team Deepwater Dames aka DD’s. I was supposed to walk in Chicago this year, but as you know it’s not happening. So we decided to have the captain of our vessel (Asgard) challenge the vessel that walked “with” me last year (Proteus). The challenge was to see who could walk the most miles and who could raise the most money. The challenge would take place September 11-13 (the dates that the Chicago 3-Day was to take place). I wanted to be a part of the Virtual Kick-Off, but our internet connection out here is spotty at best so I wasn’t able to.

“I started doing these 3-Day walks in 2008. I wanted to see if I could walk the 60 miles and thought the whole idea was really cool. My mother’s best friend had died from breast cancer and I adored her. So I walked Michigan and only did 50 miles. So in 2010 I tried again in Boston and only walked 37 miles. In 2012 I was determined to walk all 60 if I had to crawl across the finish line. And I did it!!!! I met an amazing woman whom I walked most of that journey with and she had done two walks back to back. When I finished the walk she was there and asked me what I was going to do now that I had made my goal and walked all 60, to which I replied, ‘I’ll walk two in one year.’

“I signed up for the Cleveland and Tampa 3-Days in 2013. On my Cleveland walk I met George Nummer, who slowed down to walk with me because he saw I was struggling. He asked me if I had gotten a mammogram. I was only 37, young for a mammogram, but still promised him that I would get one, thinking it would be a good baseline for when I turned 40. I walked all 60 miles in Cleveland, went to Tampa and walked all 60 there as well.

“I made an appointment with my doctor after my insurance kicked in as I had just started a new job. I told her the story and she ordered the mammogram so I could keep my promise to George. I received the call later that night. After seeing my results, my doctor referred me to a specialist. I had a biopsy and the results showed I had DCIS.

Caught very early, it required only a lumpectomy and 36 rounds of radiation. In 2016 I walked my first 3-Day as a survivor with my guardian angel George. In 2018 I found out about George’s wife Christine being diagnosed with cancer and passing from it shortly after. I promised George I would meet him in San Diego for the final 3-Day of 2019 and I did.

“A journey for someone else’s life turned into a journey for my own. Aside from the blisters, memories and wonderful friends, the 3-Day days has given me a life I get to live and a living guardian angel that I got to meet face to face.”

Now, how did that deepwater rig challenge go?

“Between the two rigs, we walked 421 miles and raised $4,000 for Susan G. Komen. The Asgard won and our captain was drenched with pink water and silly string as a reward.

We had awesome sunrises and sunsets to walk to and cupcakes and cookies to ease the pain of walking on a steel deck.

The enthusiasm and support were amazing and there is even talk of hosting another while we are walking in Chicago next year.

Here is an email Michelle got from the Proteus:

Michelle, Amanda, & Capt. Rick, et al

Sorry for the delayed response, we had to take a TOFS [time out for safety] for Hurricane Sally. I really wanted to thank everyone for their show of support for the Walk. I think we all agree that this is a noble cause, and directly, or indirectly, it touches us all.

Since I have known Michelle, she has been a one person show in the fight. Last year I thought, instead of just money, I wanted to show solidarity, so we decided to walk alongside her in spirit. In the last year, she has found a colleague in Amanda, and it would seem, the entire crew of the Asgard, so well done!

What I propose next year, is not a Proteus and Asgard re-match, I want to include all the rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, or the fleet, who want to participate. And I will gladly accept the help of the Deepwater Dames to help organize, as they have proven to be quite the marketing strategist, what with the t-shirt and bake sales, raffles, etc.! The 2021 3-Day will be in Chicago 1-3 October. Michelle and Amanda plan to walk, and Team Proteus will walk as well! By including all the rigs, we can make an even greater impact!

Last year’s Proteus Helideck Walk for the Cure was not conceived as a competition, just a walk to show our support, raise awareness, and have a bit of fun. And I think going forward we should keep it to a unified show of force to help support the fight for a cure, not a competition among crews! That said, once Hurricane Sally had moved on, I had a chance to total all our miles. Team Proteus walked a total of 226.6 miles, so…we win! See you all in October!


Capt. E. Lee Crowe, III

It’s amazing how far the Pink Bubble expands – all the way into the ocean!

Kick-Off Survivor Speaker Missy Bartel

Our 2021 Chicago 3-Day Virtual Kick-Off started Saturday morning, September 12th, with an inspiring morning session hosted on Zoom. The highlight was getting to hear Missy’s moving survivor story. If you missed it, here is Missy’s story, in her own words.

Hi. I’m Missy Bartel.

My first exposure to breast cancer was when my paternal grandmother died from it in 1985. That was the first time someone in my family had cancer. Back then it felt like a diagnosis was a death sentence.

I had heard of people I knew getting a diagnosis of breast cancer, but it wasn’t until 2012 when one of my dearest friends was diagnosed that it hit close to home again. Maureen was in her late 50’s, in great health. She had “spider web” tumors throughout both breasts and opted for a bilateral mastectomy. She did radiation after that and after a while, she breathed a sigh of relief.

I was diagnosed in October of 2017. I had missed my annual mammogram that year because life was just really busy. I almost put it off until January, but decided I needed to take my health in hand and be proactive. When I checked in, the receptionist told me that their office was now also doing 3-D mammograms. I could do that or do the 2-D. My insurance wouldn’t cover the 3-D, so I opted to stick with the 2-D pictures. I was on the way to the airport for a trip to Boston with my stepmother when I got a call for a follow up. I was convinced that because I didn’t do the 3-D option, they were calling me back to get more money…

Imagine my surprise when I went back and was told there were two spots that the radiologist was concerned about, one on each breast and that they would be doing the 3-D pictures for free to get a better look. So much for the “out for the money” theory. The spot on the right breast was dismissed, but the one on the left was concerning. They wanted to do an ultrasound. “Please come right this way and we’ll do it now” they said. This is where I started panicking. Breathe! Breathe! The results of the ultrasound were given to me right away by the radiologist herself. There was definitely something there, and they wanted to do a biopsy. How about this Thursday?

I balked. I had just been away from my office for a week. I couldn’t take more time off. I planned to do it the following week. The biggest lesson I learned from this is NEVER do a biopsy on a Thursday. The weekend becomes the LONGEST of your life, waiting for the results. And the results came in as positive for a “malignant neoplasm, estrogen receptor >95% positive” in the left breast. Estimate Stage 1.

I was blessed to have the most compassionate, caring and detail-oriented surgeon a woman could hope for. Dr. Kaufman shared that it takes approximately 84 days for a tumor to move from one stage to the next. I was so glad I hadn’t waited until January to do the mammogram. My surgery was on December 6. He was confident he got it all and only had to take one lymph node. I was at Stage 2A.

Treatment from there was radiation for 20 sessions. Except I had an infection in the lymph node site removal, so things got bumped. I ended up finishing radiation in the first week of March 2018. And started that long road of recovery. “Keep working” the doctors said, to help with the fatigue. I was so surprised at how tired I really was.

It’s amazing how many women came forward to share their stories with me. What really struck me was just how many women have dealt with breast cancer. And how everyone’s stories, while similar, are as unique and individual as we are as people. That’s something else I learned on this journey. No two paths are going to be the same. I really wish people hadn’t told me “Oh, I just did radiation too. You won’t have any problems.” I almost felt like a failure because of how long my body was taking to get back to my “new normal”. Sara, a mentor from my church who also went through breast cancer about nine months before me shared “I wake up every day and feel more energized than I did before. I just didn’t realize how tired I was the day before”. That helped me get through!

I was surprised about how I handled things mentally too. I was in fight mode from diagnosis to the end of treatment and then just floated. In July that year, I went to the Relay for Life, something I have strongly supported as a walker in the past. I was there as a survivor this year. I walked three laps and had to go home. It was time to deal with the fact that I had just survived cancer.

My friend Maureen was awesome as well. She let me cry, shake my fists at the fates and coordinated tea dates when I needed to get away from it all. She shared some of the new information about treatments and helped me work out questions for the doctors. It was quite a shock when in January 2019, I got a call from Maureen. She shared that she’d had a pain in her hip for a few months that wasn’t going away. She finally went to the doctor and they sent her for a scan. She had stage IV metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bones. They were estimating six months to a year for her to live.

Many thoughts crossed my mind. Horror for what my friend was going through. Despair for what her daughter was going through. Empathy for how I could help the suffering of both of them. And way down deep, a huge bucket of fear, because how do I know this isn’t going to be my story in five years?

Maureen passed away just two very short months later. That was when I got serious about being a survivor. I had heard about the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, but really started researching it. And was so impressed with how much they have done in the fight to stop breast cancer. I decided then that I was going to do the 2020 walk. I invited Maureen’s daughter to walk with me. And I opted for Boston because I have family in New York and they could walk with me. Now, with COVID, we had to change our plans and opted to do Chicago in 2021.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago in 2021, Missy!

To hear more inspiring stories like this, you have two more chances by attending our kick-off activities. Our next virtual kick-off is on November 7th. RSVP today.