I asked our 3-Day coaches, as well as some of the 3-Day participants I’ve interviewed for this blog, to share a special memory – a goose bump moment – which they cherish. Their responses illustrate the “magic” that is the 3-Day.
Jane R. “One of my favorite 3-Day goose bump moments is being a part of the human chute that walkers form at the end of the 3-Day to welcome those reaching the finish line later in the day.” Veteran walkers – I’m sure you know the magic she’s talking about. First-timers – just wait! You’re in for a beautiful surprise.
Erin H. “We were on mile 55 of my very first 3-Day, in Seattle. It had been a rougher journey than expected. Our reason for walking, Claudia, needed to be pushed in a wheelchair as her chemo was taking its toll on her feet. As we rounded a corner, I spotted my family waving at me and they were all wearing t-shirts that read: Proud Husband, Proud Mom, Proud Son, and Proud Daughter. I hadn’t expected to see them until I was done walking and their shirts put me over the edge. Another walker came up and said, ‘Is this your family? Can I hug you?’ That was in 2005 and it still gives me goose bumps today!”
Gayla C. “My first 3-Day in 2005 will always be remembered for the record heat! The 98 degree heat and high humidity made us miserable and the amazing 3-Day medical staff had their work cut out for them at every pit stop. I was walking alone and feeling as if I couldn’t take another step as I approached a pit stop. I will never forget a man who helped me take off my shoes and socks and proceeded to clean and dry my shoes as I changed my socks. That gesture of kindness was the boost I needed to continue. His encouragement when I needed it the most was just one example of the humanity you experience on the 3-Day.”
Kate G. “One year as a 3-Day crew member, my job was to transport walkers with special medical needs to camp if they had to quit for the day. Two women became regular passengers, and I learned that they were walking for their sister who was currently fighting breast cancer. On the last day, I waited at the finish line in hopes of seeing them complete their 3-Day journey that had been such a challenge. Sure enough they appeared, and my crew mate and I cheered enthusiastically. The woman next to us asked why I was cheering for them, and I told her that they were ‘my girls.’ To my surprise, she said, ‘They are also MY girls!’ It was their sister, the cancer patient! We hugged and cried together for ‘our girls’ through the Closing Ceremony!”
Paula H. “One year, while crossing a busy intersection with a group of 3-Day walkers, the driver waiting for us to cross made eye contact with me. Her head was covered by a bandana, and she was mouthing the words, ‘Thank You,’ and crying. I knew in that instant that she was a cancer warrior fighting her battle, and I gave her two big thumbs up as we crossed and said, ‘We’re doing this for you!’ All of the walkers with me simultaneously gave her a thumbs up and more cheers. Once across the street, we saw the cancer center where she was headed. It was the most memorable and spontaneous 3-Day moment I have ever experienced.”
These special 3-Day memories are why so many of us come back to the event year after year. Please share your goose bump moments in the comments section below.