Meet Smokey T. Bear, Honorary 3-Dayer

20476341_1527888197233257_2517761273211780479_n

“Christa was an amazing human being. She was very giving and loving. She always had a smile and a hug for everyone. She never met a stranger.” —Sharon Ray

Christa Cannon was a part of the 3-Day family starting in 2013. She was an active participant, even through two breast cancer diagnoses, and had signed up to walk all seven cities in 2017. However, Christa sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in June of 2017, before she could walk alongside her pink family this past year. In her honor, all our 2017 seven-city walkers wore her name on their credentials as they crossed their final finish line in San Diego.

Smokey with Jeryl

Also in her honor, a special 3-Dayer came on the seven-city journey Christa had planned on making. His name is Smokey T. Bear.

This small stuffed bear was carried by a different walker in each city, but always had Christa’s photo pinned to his chest.

20664863_1847001738649532_4799690761838244834_n

His 2017 journey began in Michigan with walker Sharon R., who has been a 3-Dayer in various cities since 2011. She knew the power of Smokey and Christa’s story.

“It was an honor like no other. Being the first person, I had to set the bar for everyone else. It was like Christa was still walking with us. I made copies of her picture for everyone that carried Smokey to have. I think Christa was watching from above.”

20953877_10212413083156254_914580274876761783_n

From there, Smokey walked with a new participant in each city, including Melissa W. (at left above) and her other members of Team Shenanigans. It was Melissa who came up with the idea to carry Smokey this year in Christa’s honor, and she said that “support just poured in” as soon as she told a few people about her plan.

Sharon and lots of participants were more than happy to carry Smokey, and “tell Christa and Smokey’s story for all to hear.” Sharon says she is still so grateful to Melissa for “touching so many people with Christa’s story.”

23658401_10212660266013543_1207927674737689650_n

In addition to the 3-Day, Christa (and Smokey) has watched over Melissa in an MS Society bike ride and an Ironman in the form of a smaller stuffed animal version. Melissa also plans to bring this mini-Smokey on her next Ironman attempt this coming April! Melissa keeps Christa in mind when she needs motivation, and felt that Christa’s spirit helped her in her times of need.

“Christa was a special person. She was very giving and loving. Positive and tough but knew how to make people laugh.”

23659700_1626536267368449_2156581864122240112_n

If you’re joining us on the 3-Day again in 2018, be sure to keep an eye out for Smokey, and other memories of Christa. Melissa and Sharon are both signed up to Crew in all seven cities and look forward to keeping Christa’s memory alive.

We will carry her in our hearts for years to come.

Melissa says, “I will continue the quest of the memory of my dear friend Christa, my mother in law Delores and of all my other friends who have lost the battle or who are fighting the fight.”

Because we will never quit.

Thank you to everyone who carried, hugged and supported Smokey T. Bear (and his walking buddies) throughout 2017! See more of his memories below.

21106762_10214058984532222_2081597869759926047_n

23131607_1610558015632941_6901648469132708134_n

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

picture 4

picture 5

picture 6

picture

Smokey on Bike II

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s