Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth Milestone Award Winner; Karen McEnheimer! 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 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day camp show, we presented Karen with this special honor.
Karen is a part of Team Traveling TaTa’s, and has participated in the 3-Day since 2007. She has walked or crewed in Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, Twin Cities, Seattle, San Diego, Michigan, and now finally Dallas/Fort Worth. She has raised almost $8,000 for the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this year and has surpassed $101,000 in 18 events so far.
Her friend Margie Wimbish thinks Karen is “so deserving” of this award.
“She is a fundraising machine. She will stand outside of Wal-Mart in the cold and rain or if it 100 degrees. She is the energizer bunny of fundraising!”
Mary Ripine echoes, and then expands, on this excitement for Karen.
“For Karen, it is not just about the fundraising; it is about the people she meets and their stories. She met a woman who was recently diagnosed while fundraising outside of Wal-Mart. She really connected with her and even shared her information to take the women to her doctor appointments!
One time, Mary had a fundraiser and when Karen saw she had no one to help her, she went home changed into her 3-Day gear and came and helped out for hours and did not take any of the proceeds. To say that Karen is dedicated to the 3-Day, and every member of her 3-Day family, is an understatement.
After all those kind words, we had to hear from Karen herself.
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
I was diagnosed with what they thought was a metastasized tumor in my neck, with the primary site in either my bones,my lungs or my breasts. Since breast cancer runs in the family that is where my mind was going. After I awoke from surgery I was told that it was a 4×5 centimeter staph infection and it had diseased my vertebrae. I decided to walk the following year.
I could not imagine going through radiation and chemo. I had to sit at home for 18 weeks on IV antibiotics and that was horrific enough for me. That was in 2007 that I started this journey and one of my sisters was diagnosed in 2008 two weeks before I walked my second walk in Washington, DC. I have been walking 12 years and just completed my 16 and 17th walks and hit my goal of 100 grand this year.
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
The first time I experienced closing ceremonies and we lifted our right shoe to the survivors I was hooked. I have been to one closing in the Twin Cities where they also get down on one knee while holding their shoe to the survivors.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
I believe in what I am doing and have never been as passionate about anything as I am about this walk and what steps have been made as a result of it. I am grateful today that as a result my sister is a 12 year survivor. Also, I am not afraid to ask anyone for that donation.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Enjoy yourself and take in everything that you can. It truly can make or break your experience. Talk to folks along the way and give them a piece of yourself that they can take home with their memories. I like to do a bit from Mrs. Doubtfire. When someone passes me I give them a very soft pinch on the arm and tell them that it is a Monkey Bite for passing me. I also tell them that it will get harder each time that they pass me. I have been called the Monkey Bite Lady many times and it gives us something to laugh about each time we see each other all weekend.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I have been told countless times that I need to be a stand up comedian. As much of a social butterfly that I am there is one thing that most do not know about me. I have a fear of speaking in front of crowds of people. I clam up! I had to have a fellow walker stand up and hold my hand while I gave a eulogy at a funeral to help support me while I stood there. I love spending time with my grandchildren and riding the motorcycle with my hubby. I will walk as long as these legs and feet will take me.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
That you should never give up on something when you heart and soul are involved. Give from your heart and you will receive 10 fold in ways that you could never have imagined.