Congratulations to the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron

For the 2018 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron. Joan is a breast cancer survivor who’s family is amazing at her dedication to everyone she loves, including her 3-Day family! Joan’s sister recalls that “growing up, our dad always noticed that whatever I was doing, Joan did, too. Well, now, I want to be like my little sister and follow her steps for those very same reasons. I love you so very much, Joanie, and I’m so very proud to be your sister!”

Twin Cities 3-Day Coach Stephanie was also so excited to present Joan with the award this past weekend! She told us, “Joan is a rockstar volunteer helping out the local coaches each season as a training walk leader and also volunteers her time to flyer our 3-Day route, alerting residents and businesses that all of you will be walking by. This year though her reason for participating became much more personal as Joan is now walking as a survivor. 4 months ago Joan found herself suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis brought surgery, weeks of radiation and a daily medication regimen which began this week. I’m happy to report that Joan is cancer-free. Like all of you she will continue to walk until a cure has been found. Her dedication to this event and the cause make her truly worthy of this award.”

To learn more about Joan, we asked the lady herself!

What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?

I started walking in the TC 3-Day 5 years ago. My good friend Lori was originally diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 4. Nowhere in her family did anyone have breast cancer, she was the first. Lori was brave and courageous throughout her treatments, which included: many rounds of chemo over the years, radiation, brain surgery, clinical trials, and a battery of tests.

Lori kept her humor right to the end. I can still see her scrunching up her nose when I asked how she liked the Jello she had for breakfast. I can even hear her chuckling at something funny that was said one day, as I sat at her dining room table. Two days later Lori passed away from this horrible disease. I gave my promise to Lori a few years ago, that I would keep walking until a cure is found for breast cancer. My team name is Lori’s Chance. I walk in memory of Lori, for my children, for those battling this disease, for the survivors, and those that have been lost. I don’t want others to get the “call” saying you have breast cancer.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after?

I return each year to the walk the 3-Day until a cure is found for breast cancer. This year I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer, and the 3-Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. This is why we walk, this is why we fight, and we can’t stop until this disease has been eliminated. Okay, now the lighthearted side of the 3-Day is seeing your friends each year; they are your “pink” family (and through out the year for many of us Twin Cities locals). Then there are the fun shenanigans on the route.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

Ask everyone!! Sometimes you have to ask potential donors more than once. Ask for matching gifts which can increase your fundraising account quickly.

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Enjoy the walk! Remember, it’s a journey, not a race. You will experience many emotions from laughter to tears. Introduce yourself to walkers you don’t know, especially our first time walkers. Take it all in from the beautiful scenery on route, to dancing in the tent. It’s important to train for the 3-Day. Stay hydrated, stretch often and have fun!!!

What’s a fun fact about you?

As I was growing up, I was on the All Star Girls Softball Team for the Northern Tazewell Recreation Association. I played first base on the team, and our team won first place.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

I keep learning new lessons why it is so important that we walk. We are all here to meet a common goal, a world without breast cancer. A couple of years ago, I was coming into Pit Stop 3 on Indian Mounds Park and there were several survivors greeting walkers as they arrived. By that point on Day 3, no one is really looking their best, but to the survivors we all looked beautiful. A couple of them approached me and said, “Thank you for Walking so I can live.” Without Susan G. Komen, some of them would not be able to afford their treatment. That instantly brought me to tears, but it was an experience I will cherish the rest of my life.

Help each other out on the 3-Day. A kind word or a smile can lift someone’s spirit and brighten their day!