In July, the Susan G. Komen Facebook page shared a beautiful photo and story that was heard around the Internet: after 26-year-old Brittany B. was diagnosed with breast cancer, her boyfriend proposed at a surprise pre-surgery party. As Brittany embarked on her treatment, a very special friend of her embarked on her own journey: fundraising $2,300 and walking 60 miles so that fewer women and men around the world ever have to hear the words “You have breast cancer.” Meet Jackie S., of Healthy Hooters, who is walking her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Philadelphia this weekend.
Jackie was initially asked to join the Komen 3-Day by some of her team members, the Healthy Hooters. The Healthy Hooters is a team made up of neighbors in their Downingtown neighborhood of Pennsylvania. The Healthy Hooters are all new participants, and their past and current experiences with breast cancer brought them all together. Team Captain Melany walks in memory of both of her grandmothers, both affected by breast cancer, and in honor of her friend Michelle, a 36-year-old breast cancer survivor. Team members Kristy and Sara both walk in honor of their breast cancer survivor moms, team member Megan walks in honor of a family friend and team members Janis and Heather also walk for family and friends affected by breast cancer.
Like many other new 3-Dayers, Jackie initially had concerns about joining the 3-Day. “I went back and forth for about three weeks thinking I wanted to, but was always worried about fundraising. My heart eventually lead me to my decision. Eight days after I signed up, Brittany was diagnosed.” Jackie and Brittany have been close friends for eight years, and Jackie calls Brittany her “Little Sister.” “I have no siblings, so to have someone in my life to fill this role has been such a blessing,” said Jackie.
Brittany is more than halfway done with her treatment, and a quick search of her Instagram hashtag, #beitelstrong, shows how many people are rooting her on and showing support. You can follow her journey through the Susan G. Komen Facebook page.
As the team wraps up Day 1 of their 3-Day journey, I ask them if they have any thing they’d like to say now that they’ve conquered 21.5 miles around beautiful Philadelphia. Their unanimous rallying cry? “Your battle is our battle.”
Jackie adds, “60 miles is nothing compared to the journey that loved ones are going through with breast cancer. You can do this. You can’t go through life being a spectator. You have to be a participant.” Every day, we’re so grateful to all of our participants – walkers, crew and volunteers, for being such a passionate part of our fight to end breast cancer.