Letter From a First-Time Walker

Mother of two and Placerville, CA resident Heidi S. has raised money and participated in many breast cancer events since her breast cancer diagnosis 20 years ago. Now, she’s excited to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and become a part of the wonderful community that is the Pink Bubble. We asked Heidi to tell her story as she embarks on her journey for the 2022 San Diego 3-Day. 

Hello 3-Day Family,  

It has always been about HOPE. Twenty years of hope, in fact. I am so honored and excited to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ® for the first time!  

This year, November 2022, marks an incredible milestone for me. I will be celebrating 20 years as a breast cancer survivor! I am choosing to participate in the Komen 3-Day to not only celebrate all the memories I have been blessed to make, but to offer hope to those who are currently fighting this disease.  

My story is typical of many other women who share this sisterhood. In 2002, at age 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was married not yet 10 years, with two little boys aged 5 and 2, and our world was rocked to the core. Surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and reconstruction became our lives for several years. My only hope was to create as many family memories as I could and live to see my boys grow up. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to report that those little boys are now 25 and 22.   

Over the years, with my husband and boys in tow, I have raised money for several organizations to support the cause, help find the cures, and give back for all the support that was shown to us in our time of need. My best friend and I have walked in other events in several cities over the years, raising funds, and participating for those who cannot. Offering hope through service and shared vision is life changing. There is real strength in numbers! I am beyond excited to experience this with the 3-Day®!  

I have found that raising money for the 3-Day has been pretty easy with the tools we are given. I posted my link on my Facebook page and within a few days had raised $1,700! Reposting this week has bumped me to almost the full $2,300. With several months until the walk, I am certain I will meet and exceed my goal! 

I am looking forward to the Pink Bubble experience for so many reasons. Hearing stories of hope, determination and resilience is always a reminder of why we all do what we do. The energy of the crowd coming together for a common goal, that feeling of accomplishment for walking farther than I ever thought I could walk and sleeping in a pink tent are all things I am so excited for. There is such beauty in shared experience.  

So, from this newbie to the 3-Day family, thank you for welcoming me, encouraging me, and helping me celebrate…life.  

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”—Christopher Reeve 

Heidi S.  

Team 20 Years of Hope 

Would you like to join Heidi and thousands of other dedicated men and women who, each year, pour their hearts and souls into taking on an incredible challenge: a 3-day, 60-mile journey? Learn more here.  

The Youth Corps Experience

If you’ve participated in a Susan G. Komen 3-Day ® before, you know how impactful the Youth Corps is to the entire 3-Day experience. Getting involved in the fight against breast cancer from a young age helps secure futures for this generation and the next. We asked top 2021 Youth Corps fundraiser, Gianna K., to tell her story and what the Youth Corps means to her. 

What is your connection to breast cancer? 

Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of family members affected by breast cancer. My mom, my three aunts, my grandma, and my two great grandmas were all diagnosed and all survived breast cancer. I want to raise money so no one else has to deal with what they went through, and so no other family has to go through what my family and so many other families had to. 

How and when did you get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ®? 

After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, she walked her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day in San Diego to help raise money for the cause. I was there to support her when she walked in 2018 and in 2019. In 2019 I cheered her on along the route, and the atmosphere inspired me to join the Youth Corps. I wanted to be a part of the 3-Day in any way that I could. I was too young to register as a walker, but I found out that I could be part of the Youth Corps to help with this amazing cause. Everyone had so much energy and spirit and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to help motivate and support the walkers on their 60-mile journey. 

You raised $3,547 for the 2021 3-Day. What inspired you to raise so much more than the minimum fundraising requirement? [Youth Corps members commit to raising at least $500 as part of their participation.] 

What inspired me to raise more than the minimum requirement is that I know this money helps so many people and goes towards ending breast cancer forever. Raising money is one way I can help to find the cures for breast cancer, so I want to help as much as I can. 

If someone is considering joining the Youth Corps, what words of encouragement or advice would you give them? 

If anyone is thinking about being involved with the 3-Day Youth Corps, I would 100% encourage them to join. I had so much fun and met so many new, amazing people over the three days I was there. I made lifelong friends and memories that I will never forget. It is so much fun to cheer everyone on because the walkers need our encouragement and motivation to keep them going. While cheering the walkers on, seeing their faces light up when they saw us made me realize what an impact we are having. All the walkers joined in our cheers and were so enthusiastic with us. It is an experience I will never forget, and I will never forget the feeling of making all those people so happy. 

What is your favorite part of the Youth Corps? 

My favorite part of Youth Corps was meeting new people and being able to have fun with them. We had the best time dancing to music while cheering on the walkers. We would sing, jump around and be enthusiastic together. I loved seeing how happy my friends and I made the walkers, and I know that we experienced this amazing feeling together. 

Do you plan to walk the 3-Day some day? 

I will be eligible to walk in the 2022 3-Day and I do plan on walking. Again, the atmosphere is incredible and so fun to be a part of! 

Are you interested in learning more about the Youth Corps? Do you know someone between ages 10-16 who might be interested in applying? Visit The3Day.org/youthcorps to learn more about involving the next generation in the 3-Day experience. There are a limited number of spots on the Youth Corps and we always have more interested candidates than we can accommodate, so we have an application process. Youth Corps applications are now open.