What the 3-Day Promise Means to Me

We walk because we must. 

We are strong because the journey demands it. 

Together in body and united in spirit,  

We lay down our footsteps for this generation and the next. 

This is our promise: A world without breast cancer. 

What the 3-Day Promise Means to Me

The 3-Day promise means a world without breast cancer, but this promise goes even deeper for everyone who joins the 3-Day journey. It means walking to finding a cure, honoring loved ones, and standing together united against breast cancer. We commit to the 3-Day promise each time we fundraise to support research and care for breast cancer warriors. We act upon the promise we made with each mile we walk alongside our 3-Day family. It is a promise we make to ourselves and every member of the Pink Bubble. So, we asked members of the team: what does the 3-Day promise mean to you? 

“Everything! The 3-Day promise is at the heart of everything we do here at Komen.

We walk because we must. We will never give up. We won’t stop. We will do whatever it takes.

We are strong because the journey demands it. We find strength in each other and ourselves.

Together in body and united in spirit. We are all one, bound forever by the same goal.

We lay down our footsteps for this generation and the next. We walk to help those who need it now and ensure our children and grandchildren have better lives.

This is our promise, a world without breast canver. This says it all. —Steph Myers

‟The 3-Day promise means making a personal commitment to raise funds and awareness to ensure Susan G. Komen can continue to fund research to find the cures and provide care and treatment options for those battling breast cancer today. My personal 3-Day promise also encompasses the connection and commitment I feel to encourage and support the members of this community. We’re truly all in this together with shared goals and dreams for a future without breast cancer!” —Staci Roos

‟When I first read and heard these words out loud during my first 3-Day event in 2018, I remember the overwhelming emotions I felt. I remember saying to myself ‘Oh my gosh, I am a survivor! I can help bring an end to breast cancer? I’m in!’” I will do my very best to raise money and will lay down endless footsteps to have a world without breast cancer. Walking is easy, fighting breast cancer is not! 

Last year, in 2020 when all the 3-Day events were postponed because of the pandemic, I thought about the 3-Day promise and its meaning. Breast cancer doesn’t pause because of a pandemic and neither does the spirit of the 3-Day. I made a promise to lay down my footsteps and walk 20 miles on every weekend there was a scheduled 3-Day event. The 3-Day promise was my mantra before, during and after each of my walks!  

As a survivor I know hearing ‘You have breast cancer’ are probably the scariest words I have ever heard. As a survivor I know the fight takes strength. As a survivor I have seen and felt the loss from this horrible disease. As a survivor, I will continue to lay down my footsteps for this generation and the next until we live in a world without breast cancer!” —Christine Jessen 

“I have the good fortune of being part of the behind-the-scenes team who puts the ceremonies together. Listening to the 3-Day promise is my favorite part of both Opening and Closing Ceremonies. It’s a moment that unifies our entire community as they join together saying those inspiring words. It’s a powerful start to the moving experience they’re about to have. And then it cements their three days of participation when we come back together on Sunday and say it all over again. We’re all different people by the end of the event, so those words take on a different meaning.” —Molly Fast

‟The 3-Day promise means we will never give up. We will fundraise and walk and crew as long as it takes to see breast cancer brought to an end.” —Tisho Jessop

We want to know what the 3-Day promise means to you! Share your story with us by using #The3Day on Instagram.

Why I’m Excited For 3-Day Nation

Taking the Pink Bubble nationwide in a new way to experience the 3-Day: This is 3-Day Nation. 

Why I’m Excited For 3-Day Nation 

Elizabeth Olesen has completed eight 3-Days since 2004. She has been blogging her own experience at training walks and the events themselves and has found this to be a great fundraising tool! “By blogging my walks, I also increase my fundraising abilities. Neighbors and friends are engaged and keep me moving with their encouraging posts, texts, and calls. I’m never ‘alone’. I walk with all of those supporters on my shirt and highlight them in my blog. New names and stories are often shared (and added) as I walk my city while training. I’m excited to be part of 3-Day Nation because it’s a whole new way for us to come together and continue the fight. I can’t wait for closing ceremony.” 

What are you excited about for 3-Day Nation? 

I’m excited about the new 3-Day Nation this year mostly because I won’t have to travel and will be doing my walk where all those in my area can cheer me on. I will miss the excitement of other walkers and crew and new scenery, but also won’t miss the crowds (and Porta potties). Lol. 

What made you sign up for 3-Day Nation instead of the San Diego 3-Day? 

I actually signed up for San Diego initially. I walked there in 2016 and it was a favorite walk (along with DC and Tampa). However, with all the travel restrictions, I decided I didn’t want to fly to San Diego, so I was glad to have the option to participate as part of 3-Day Nation. 

Are you walking alone or with a friend/group? 

I walk primarily alone as a solo stroller. I haven’t walked with a partner since my first walk in 2004 when a friend asked me to join her. It was going to be a one and done. I’m still walking! I do some training walks with friends when we can coordinate schedules. While I train and walk alone as a solo stroller, over the years I’ve met and walked with some really wonderful walkers. We are still friends to this day and try to coordinate cities. The circle of friends grows with every walk. 

Do you plan on dressing up at all? 

Of course I’m going to dress up for my 3-Days! When I walked in Tampa, I was wearing my wings. My neighbor told me he’d be looking for a butterfly (his first walk and didn’t realize all the wings that would be there!). When we connected, along with several other women, they kept forgetting my name and called me Butterfly Maine. It stuck and it’s what I’m known as in fundraising and my outfit. I am Butterfly Maine and wear sparkle skirts and wings and makeup! It will embarrass the heck out of my husband. I love wearing all the sparkles! 

Have you prepared for 3-Day Nation any different than you would for any other 3-Day? 

This will be my eighth walk since 2004. I’ve learned many lessons for training. This year isn’t any different. I (now) follow the3-Day suggested training plan (lesson learned on my first walk) and usually begin training earlier than the plan requires. I turned 60 this year and have been dealing with some injuries over the past year and a half. Training is critical for success (for me). I plan each walk and route carefully and my pack always includes the necessities (food, water, sunscreen, extra socks, donation forms and a pen). My clothes are bright and sparkly and reflect why I am walking. Since I do out- and -back walks, the pack can be a bit heavy starting out. My husband is my “walker stalker” and always checks in via text or by popping up on my route (he tracks my cellphone 😉) and will bring me anything I need. This has included more water and ice, food, new clothes when what I am wearing isn’t comfortable, new inserts or socks or shoes, or just to make sure I’m still moving!   

Elizabeth and walkers like her creating their own Pink Bubbles all over the country are what the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Nation is all about. We’re so excited to see this all come to life and hear about the ways you are bringing 3-Day Nation to your community. Whether you will be walking solo like Elizabeth, walking with your team, or coming to a Pink Bubble Pop-Up, it’s going to be an amazing experience. Are you participating in 3-Day Nation this year? Let us know what you are most excited for in the comments section! 

Mary’s personal JOURNEY makes that her 2021 Word of the Year

All through 2021, we’ve had members of the 3-Day family sharing their “Word of the Year” with us. Each month, we’ll introduce a new person and share their word, why they chose it, and learn about their Susan G. Komen 3-Day experience along the way.

This month, we talked to Mary M., a fourteen-time crew captain (and sometime walker) who chose “journey” as her 2021 word of the year. That journey will be literal this year, as she travels to the San Diego 3-Day and joins us as part of 3-Day Nation.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience.

I’ve participated in Colorado, Arizona, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, San Diego and New England. I’ve been a crew captain 14 times and have been a crew member on the Sweep team with my daughter and a walker in San Diego, also with my daughter. After my first walk back in 2001, I decided that crewing was more for me because of the time commitment required for proper training. However, during our time in a sweep van in San Diego, my daughter convinced me to walk again, which we did together the following year. That experience helped remind me and refocus me in my crew efforts!

San Diego 3-Day, 2017: Mary as sweep captain, her husband and daughter as sweep team members

What is your 2021 word of the year? 

My 2021 Word of the Year is Journey.

Why is that your word of the year?

2021 is my first year of retirement! I’m looking forward to experiencing the journey of retirement by taking some trips in our new RV. Hopefully we will even be able to journey out of the country again. With more time on my hands, I’m hoping to enjoy the journey of life at a slower pace, enjoying some of the simple things. I hope to read a lot of books – each book is a journey to a new place! I’m planning on taking the journey to San Diego this year.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I started participating to honor my Mom, who had just gone through her first breast cancer experience. I’ve continued to participate because we MUST find a cure. Our family has been lucky. Though my mom had a recurrence 12 years after her original diagnosis, we still have her with us, cancer-free at age 86! Many families have not been as lucky. We need a world without breast cancer.

San Diego 3-Day 2019: Mary with “partner-in-crime” Carolyn on the beach

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?

I’ve met some amazing people through the 3-Day who have the same commitment to end breast cancer. Some are other participants, both walkers and crew. And of course, there’s the amazing 3-Day staff, many of whom have also become my friends. We are a mighty force, filled with determination! We’ve all laughed together, worked our butts off for long hours, cried together and supported one another. 

San Diego 3-Day 2019 Sweep Captains: Mary, her sister Janet and “sista” Carolyn

How does your word of the year connect to the 3-Day?

Each 3-Day is a journey. Many people travel from all over to participate—taking a literal journey. They all have their own motivations, usually based on their own life journey. Every journey has unexpected surprises, unforeseen joys and sorrows, and opportunities to learn and grow. What better description of the 3-Day!

Philadelphia 3-Day 2019: in the tunnel in the pouring rain

If you could share a message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?

The Pink Bubble is one of my favorite places to be, where people are kinder than on the outside, where all have the same goal. What a great world this would be if each of us took some of that kindness and spread it to people outside of our bubble to help make the whole world a better place! We want to know: What is your 2021 JOURNEY link? Check back next month for the next blog post in our “Word of the Year” series.