Continuing our “Word of the Year” series, this month Marilyn shares her story, and how the 3-Day represents a form of SERVICE to her. Marilyn’s taking her commitment to service seriously, participating in 24 3-Day events over the years, and joining us for the 3-Day this year.
Tell me about your 3-Day experience.
I started my journey in 2011 in Philadelphia knowing almost nothing about Susan G. Komen’s mission. I was simply walking 60 miles because a girlfriend asked me to walk with her. I was hooked after that first walk! Then I went on to walk in Tampa Bay with my daughter-in-law and then again and again and again…all across the country, doing numerous walks each year (in 2017, I did all 7!). I have now completed 24 3-Days. I am signed up to walk and am fully-funded for the 2021 3-Day in San Diego.
What is your 2021 word of the year?
My word for 2021 is SERVICE.
Why is that your word of the year?
I have learned over the years that my soul sings happiness when I am doing things to be of service to others. I know that when I am helping others, love and kindness spreads exponentially. For instance, I am part of a group that provides Christmas bags for 200 less fortunate women in our area each year. Naturally, it helps the women for whom we get to do this service; it also helps each of us remember how blessed we are and that we are able to joyously share our bounties. And it also is a wonderful connecting project for the women around the country who send a bounty of love and products to help fill the bags. The friends I’ve met through Komen and the 3-Day are unbelievably generous.
Also, by being a mentor to other women in the addiction community, I have the ability to see women grow and flourish and then watch them mentor others. We all give and receive constantly.
Why do you participate in the 3-Day?
I participate in the 3-Day because, as a breast cancer survivor (along with surviving facial melanoma and uterine cancer), I must give back to the community of those ahead of me who made the research possible for new and improved methods of treating this disease that saved my life and millions of others. I must be part of an organization that continues to fund researchers to find the cure, and that helps in communities across the country with the everyday struggle for people finding their way after they have heard those crushing words “You have cancer.”
What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
The women and men I have met along the way over these past 11 years have become my second heartbeat. I have never ever collectively met such a caring, loving, hilarious, energetic, service-oriented, superior group of people! My Komen friends motivate me to do more and do better.
How does your word of the year connect to the 3-Day?
It is a blessing and an honor to do the service work of raising money for Susan G. Komen. To know that we are doing so much for so many people is awe-inspiring. To know that my grandchildren’s children may hear that their great-grandmother had breast cancer and ask, “what’s that?” is enough to keep me going long into my next decade.
By my walking these walks and walking all the training walks I do (I walked 2,020 miles in 2020 and I will do another 2,021 in 2021), more women have joined me on the 3-Day and they get to be of service. It just keeps getting better. I will admit that my age inspires younger people to get involved as they say, “Well, if she can do it, I can do it!”
If you could share a message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?
Be kind. Be loving. Be of service. The world will become a better place and you will be part of the solution.
We want to know: How are you of SERVICE in your community? Check back next month for the next blog post in our “Word of the Year” series.