“Omg that is me! I did it for my aunt who survived triple negative breast cancer. She is truly a hero in my eyes and the strongest woman I know. She is my Wonder Woman.”
When we saw this comment on one of our favorite 3-Day photos on Instagram, we knew we needed to find this walker and her aunt to learn more. In a time where we cannot gather together in-person, social media allows us the opportunity to continue to build community even when we’re apart.
Today, we’re excited to introduce you that amazing walker. Crystal Fazio joined us to walk the San Diego 3-Day in 2019 when her aunt, Ilsia Rangel, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. According to Crystal, “We were devastated with the news. Her chances of getting through it were extremely low. My aunt was a fighter though and explored her options.” After difficult chemo sessions, lymph node removal, and a double mastectomy, Crystal’s aunt has been in remission for 18 months.
Crystal continued, “We as a family stayed by her side and helped her through for better and worse. We wanted to give back in support of breast cancer awareness. That’s when we found the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.” Crystal’s aunt immediately said. “Let’s do this, we got this!” No one hesitated, and eight friends and family members founded The Bouncing Bellas.
Crystal and the Bouncing Bella’s treasured every moment they walked with Crystal’s aunt. “She truly is a super woman to me and my family because of all the challenging obstacles that came in her way. She fought back, blisters and all!” exclaimed Crystal. As first-time walkers on a new team, the Bouncing Bellas had a lot to take in. When asked what she’d tell other first-time walkers, Crystal shared, “My message for first-time walkers is that it will be tough and challenging. Train hard, stay hydrated, and keep pushing through, because the experience is worth all the pain and blisters. It is truly an experience of a lifetime. Oh, and don’t forget the PICKLES!”
Crystal’s aunt recently learned that her cancer has returned as lung and liver cancer, yet her family continues to come together and rally in support of Ilsia. Crystal proudly states, “She is still our Super Woman and puts on a smile every day. Nothing! Not even cancer is slowing her down!”
Thanks to Crystal for sharing her powerful smile with the 3-Day world via our Instagram page and especially for relaying the story of her Wonder Woman, her aunt.
In true social media form, when asked if she could share a DM with each person in the 3-Day community, Crystal said: “Stay positive, have fun, and remember, you are not alone!”
We are so lucky that we can still connect with walkers like Crystal – and all of you! – virtually over social media and at our virtual kick-off events, even though we can’t join together in person this year.