Congratulations to the San Diego Milestone Award Winner, Debbie M.!

As we have done at every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event this year, we took a moment during the Friday night camp show to recognize the Milestone Award winner for the San Diego 3-Day. This award is given at each 3-Day to a walker whose history of participation in the 3-Day stands out, and for San Diego, we were pleased to honor Debbie M. from Huntington Beach, CA.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog milestone award winner san diego debbie

Debbie and Dr. Sheri share a moment at the Friday night camp show

The 2014 San Diego 3-Day is Debbie’s 13th event. Debbie, a self-described “food, wine and animal lover” has been an active San Diego walker since 2002. That was the year she founded the team Surf City Tittys, which has become one of the longest-standing teams on the San Diego event. Collectively, the team has raised nearly a million dollars during its history; on her own, Debbie has raised an incredible $73,592.

The 3-Day and the breast cancer cause are close to Debbie’s heart and home. She is a two-time survivor, and a carrier of the BRCA gene (as are 13 of her family members, including her daughter). She is outspokenly dedicated to finding a cure, and it shows through her outstanding commitment to the 3-Day.

Congratulations to you, Debbie! We’re so proud and happy to have you as part of our family.




Thoughts From the Top of a San Diego Hill

Anyone who has walked in the San Diego 3-Day knows of the route’s infamous population of hills. The peaks treat San Diego walkers to some really breathtaking vistas and views of the Pacific Coast, but getting to the top can be grueling sometimes. Yesterday on Day 1, walkers conquered the notorious Torrey Pines hill, and Day 2 has its share of hefty inclines, including a doozy between the 5 and 6 mile marks. We positioned ourselves at the top this little slope and asked walkers how they felt at the top. The positivity of (most of) their answers surprised and delighted us!susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog thoughts from the top of a hill san diego

“It’s a beautiful hill.”

“Way to wake us up!”

“Best hill of the day.”

“Was that the best you guys could do?”

“Not bad! I don’t mind hills.”

“Awesome, love it every year!”

“Not long enough!”

“I loved it, we need more!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog thoughts from the top of a hill san diego

“Nice hill! We’re from Seattle, that was a nice hill.”

“Fantastic. Can we have another?”

“We love it! Good one!”

“You’re the devil…” (But she was smiling when she said it, so we take that as a positive!)

“Loved it! Same as last year. Still steep.”

“Can’t wait to do more in a few minutes. I’m thinking about going back down and doing it again.”

“Better now that we’re at the top!”

“That was a good little warm up.”

“The down side is worse than this.”

“We rocked that hill!”

“What hill?”

“I did not feel anything, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

“I’m gonna hitch a ride down with a sweep and do it again!”

“As long as we don’t roll back down, we’re good!”

“Bring it on!”

“Whoever put this on the route, we’re gonna hurt…” (Can we just put that down as a good-hearted, harmless threat?)

“Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog thoughts from the top of a hill san diego

And finally, an adorable couple approached, holding hands, and we asked if they held hands the whole way up. “A good part of it. We were kind of dragging each other.” Sounds like teamwork at its best!

Congrats and thank you to ALL of the San Diego walkers on all of the peaks you’ve conquered this weekend. Can’t wait to do it all again with you (including more hills…) tomorrow!

Congratulations to the San Diego 3-Day Top Fundraisers!

In the early hours of Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego, there was some concern that the weather was not going to cooperate. After a rainy night and early morning, the Opening Ceremony site was covered with puddles and a light drizzle continued to fall. But by the time the Ceremony had begun, the dark clouds had passed, leaving a dazzling blue sky and stunning sunrise. The change from gloomy to glorious was a fitting parallel to what many Komen 3-Day participants experience in their fundraising journeys: a concerning start, followed shortly by a lifting of the clouds and dazzling prospects ahead.

If that analogy is true for the average 3-Day® fundraiser, it’s even more fitting for the top fundraisers for the San Diego 3-Day, individuals and teams who shine through the clouds more brightly than anyone.

Top Individual Fundraiser

Susan G. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog san diego top fundraisers individual

Michelle (center), the Top Individual Fundraiser in San Diego

Michelle B., the captain of Team Michelle, has made remarkable strides in her five years as a 3-Day walkers. This year, she earned the distinction of top individual fundraiser, bringing in an amazing $42,212. Across her five events, she has raised a lifetime total of $57,072. In addition to growing her fundraising total, Michelle has grown her team from 14 their first year (2010) to 35 this year, including her nephew, who traveled from Kansas with his mom to participate as part of the San Diego Youth Corps this weekend.

Top Fundraising Team

Susan G. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog san diego top fundraisers team Powered by Optimism

Representatives from PBO (left three), including team captain Amy B. (center)

It’s hard to walk around the San Diego 3-Day without seeing the name Powered by Optimism. The San Diego 3-Day’s largest team with 109 members, Powered by Optimism, or PBO as they’re known, was also the top fundraising team in San Diego this year, raising $302,745. The team, led by captain Amy B. (who was also the Top Training Walk Leader in San Diego this year) is in its 5th year as team, and has raised a grand total of $901,291 in that time. Wow!

Top Crew Fundraiser

Susan G. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog san diego top fundraisers crew

Top Crew Fundraiser, Carol B. (left)

It’s worth mentioning, in case anyone isn’t aware, that 3-Day crew members, while encouraged to raise moneyas part of their crew commitment, are not required to raise a cent. This reality makes the $15,017 that was raised by Top Crew Fundraiser Carol B., all the more astonishing. Carol, a member of the Traffic Control crew team, is participating in her 9th event over her 8 years with the 3-Day, and is a 10 year survivor.

(Side note: In addition to Carol, there are two other crew members who have raised more than $10,000 in San Diego this year. Our heartfelt thanks go to Lori O. and Sandi S., both members of the sweep crew team, who each raised $10,102.01, more than 3 times what is required of individual walkers. Amazing!)

Congratulations to all of these extraordinary members of the 3-Day family, and every San Diego 3-Day participant who raised money this year. With you, we are all that much closer to our goal of ending breast cancer in our lifetimes.