Last year, our Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day brought you details about the entire 3-Day experience from the perspective of one grizzled old veteran walker (me), but this year, we thought we’d get a different point of view. So, we asked three women who are participating in the 3-Day for the very first time to share that journey with us. And just like that, the First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day was born! So today, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to our three first-timers. You’ll be hearing a lot more from them throughout the next few months, as they tell us about their very first 3-Day adventures, but for now, let’s get to know them a little bit, in their own words…
Crystal – Michigan 3-Day First-Timer
“My name is Crystal Spagnuolo, a 38-year young single Mom to two amazingly beautiful kids. I have a teenage daughter named Jocelyn and a young stud of a son named Mateo. He prefers to be called Teo now, since he is the “man of the house.” I am born and raised in Windsor, ON, a small Canadian town a mere jaunt across the bridge or tunnel from Detroit, MI. My family has been here since 1955 when my grandparents moved here from Lincoln Park, MI. “Most of my free time (yeah, what is that?) is spent taking care of my babies. They are both energetic, outgoing, more athletic than I have ever been, and two of the biggest pains in my butt. Between soccer practice, softball tryouts, all star tournaments, youth group dances and birthday parties, I fully engulf myself in getting to know these rare creatures I am blessed to raise. Life has thrown us a few loops, and after a few very financially trying years we ended up back at my parents’ house to regenerate. It all worked out as my step-dad needed bypass surgery and we got to help out. As we have firmly planted our feet back on the ground, we are looking eagerly at spreading our wings and flying the coop within the next few months. “I work at a cell phone company where I assist people with technical issues when it comes to these devices we’ve become accustomed to living our lives through. I love the challenge of each email or phone call. I love helping people and tutor often on the side to all the friends and family around me who are otherwise technologically challenged. “I’m a fighter, so I’m told, but for the greater good. I wear my heart on my sleeve and always root for the underdog. I had to battle my health for the past seven years and I will honestly tell you I didn’t realize how bad until my hysterectomy this past February. Dealing with cancer scares and pain, agonizing months of stress and anxiety for test results have all made me a well-rounded basket case. I have a tight-knit circle of friends, mainly due to my children’s never-ending social lives, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve wanted to give something back and show my kids that hard work pays off. This walk means so very much to me but not for reasons you may think. I’ve been blessed to not have lost or battled this disease but after the marathon I just ran with my health, walking 60 miles in memory and spirit for those who no longer can is an honour that I will cherish forever. “When I mention what I’m doing this summer, most of the people I deal with on a daily basis smile and simply say, “of course you are, you are amazing.” Now not to toot my own horn, but I feel amazing having this opportunity to give back and change my life forever. “I look forward to seeing you all in August, wearing my absolutely favourite colour (Canadian spelling) in the whole world.”
Sheilla – Philadelphia 3-Day First-Timer
“Name: Sheilla Carvalho Age: 34 Hometown: Vineland, New Jersey Current Residence: Williamstown, New Jersey, where I live with my adorable and amazing 9 year old furry child, Sketch. Occupation: School Counselor Hobbies: yoga, shopping, spending time with family/friends/Sketch, going to the beach, reading, traveling, walking/running, etc. Interesting Facts About Me:
- I speak 3 languages (English, Portuguese, & Spanish). Portuguese was my first.
- I enjoy traveling to and learning about other countries/cultures; I have visited France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, China, Brasil and will be traveling to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji in July.
- I have dual citizenship: United States and Brasil; Rio de Janiero is my favorite place!
- I have had many part-time jobs (due to various interests): student advisor at local community college, receptionist and teacher at local yoga studio, Weight Watchers, volunteer leader for People to People Ambassador programs, and now 3-Day training walk leader!
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m thankful to be a part of all this. The last couple of months have been truly amazing. I have met so many people, felt so accomplished (reached my goal in 6 months), felt inspired, motivated, grateful, etc. The amount of positive feelings and energy is very rewarding.”
Jodie – Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day First-Timer
“I am Jodie Mannlin, a 56 year-old paraprofessional working with elementary students in a Life Skills class, an 11.5-year breast cancer survivor, and 3-Day first-timer, set to participate in the Dallas/Ft. Worth 3-Day on November 6-8! My husband (of almost 33 years) and I live in Mesquite, Texas (near Dallas, where I was born). I enjoy: reading; movie-going; attending any breast cancer event, such as brunches, fashion shows, seminars, Race for the Cure walks in the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, and participating in the Cowboys’ Pink Ribbon Halftime Show (where I saw my favorite QB, Peyton Manning when he and the Broncos came to town a couple of years ago :); and attending outdoor concerts from spring through fall. The entire 3-Day experience is proving to be exciting and rewarding, as I have met many inspiring walkers from my Boxing Babes team, as well as other teams. I am overjoyed to have finally accepted the challenge to “do something more” by entering the Komen 3-Day world! And, to have been given the opportunity to share my thoughts as a 3-Day first-timer blogger! More to come …” Please join us in welcoming Crystal, Sheilla, and Jodie to the 3-Day family! Stay tuned to the 3-Day blog over the next several months to hear all about their journeys. Are you a 3-Day first-timer too? Welcome! Don’t forget, your 3-Day coaches love to share tips, tricks, and advice for everything 3-Day. You can reach them by calling 800-996-3DAY.