The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Bob Howard with this special honor. Bob is walking in his ninth 3-Day® in the Twin Cities this year, having previously walked seven times in Arizona and once in Philadelphia.
When asked what first got him involved with the 3-Day, Bob responded, “It’s actually a little embarrassing, but the first year I walked was essentially on a dare. I had a friend who had done the 3-Day, and I said ‘I can do that, heck it’s just walking…’ Boy did I have a lot to learn!” While his initial motivation to take on the 3-Day was lighthearted, Bob’s real inspiration came two years later when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was then that it took on a whole new meaning for me.”
In almost a decade of walking in the 3-Day, Bob has raised more than $55,000. He credits his fundraising success largely to his work family. “I work for a company that matches donations every year. I’m really very fortunate, to work with people who are so giving.” And what if someone doesn’t have such a generous network through their jobs? Bob assures them that generous people are everywhere. “I always tell people who are trying to get donations to ‘JUST ASK!’ Everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer, and most people are happy to give what they can to help put an end to this disease.”
With Bob’s history of giving his time and energy to the 3-Day, it’s hard to believe his answer when we asked him what brings him back year after year: “It’s sort of a selfish thing. Aside from the event being very emotional and rewarding, it just makes me feel good. When I read about the advances that are being made in breast cancer research and treatment each year, it makes me realize the importance each of us plays in putting an end to this disease. When I see the survivors and hear people’s stories, I feel that we can make a difference.”
Just in case you’re not already inspired by Bob’s great attitude, we think you’ll like his advice to his fellow 3-Day walkers: “Enjoy the walk, look around at things while you walk, just enjoy the moments. When I feel I cannot walk another step, I think of the reasons I joined the 3-Day, I think of how much suffering so many women who have had this disease have gone through, and the pain they must have endured, and somehow I find that my pain is nothing and then I find the energy to keep walking.”
Bob, your energy, passion and dedication are truly moving. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for the amazing mark you have left on the 3-Day community.