You’ve seen them on the route, you’ve probably taken a picture on or with the classic fire truck, and maybe even worn the pink firefighter hats, but have you ever wondered who the nice couple is behind the fire truck? They have become well-known supporters, driving out from Palm Springs to San Diego every year to cheer walkers on. Meet Brad and Debbie!
When did you first get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®?
My wife battled breast cancer in 1999. We first got involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in 2008. My wife Debbie saw an ad in a magazine and said she wanted to do the walk. I decided to do it with her, along with two of my brothers. We raised the money and did EVERY training walk according to the schedule that was put out, which got a little tricky with our 120-degree day summers. But the training allowed us to walk the entire 60 miles, which was really fun! My wife decided to walk again in 2011. We wanted to be 60 years old walking 60. What a way to celebrate your 60th birthday! I was always inspired by all the walker stalkers who encouraged us during our own experience. So, 2011 was the first year I brought my fire truck and my “3-Day Walkers Are Hot” sign to follow the walkers. I have done it every year since, with the exception of one year when I had a surgery and could not attend.
Why do you choose to come out and cheer on walkers?
Because it’s so FUN! The walkers are so positive and need the encouragement to keep going. Plus, when we walked, we saw how important the supporters were to us and we wanted to do something in return. Bringing out our fire truck, firefighter hats, and sign is the something we chose to do.
What keeps you motivated to keep coming out year after year to support the 3-Day?
The amazing walkers, crew and staff! It’s very well organized and such a fun event. We never hear a complaint from anyone. And we like the Melon Men!
What are some fun facts about you and your wife, Debbie?
Our claim to fame is that we were on the Newlywed Game in 1971, and we won! We have three children and six grandchildren who we love spending time with. I am a retired firefighter and my wife is a retired school teacher. I spend a lot of time working on my garden and home, while my wife likes to read and make quilts.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We appreciate all that Susan G. Komen does to provide such a wonderful event for men and women who are in one way or another connected to breast cancer. See you next year!
We love our walker stalkers, as well as learning why they come out year after year to support us all on our 3-Day journey. Do you have a favorite walker stalker? Shout them out in the comments!