On this National Superhero Day, we wanted to recognize those in the Pink Bubble who continue to show their outstanding commitment, support and care as part of each 3-Day they participate in. We asked our 3-Day coaches and staff to highlight someone, whether walker or crew, who goes above and beyond the call to action. That is what being a 3-Day superhero is all about.
Stephanie has a smile that is contagious. She continues to be one of our brightest lights in our 3-Day crew community, despite having one of the toughest and most challenging jobs: collecting ALL the trash out on the 3-Day Route. Stephanie embraces her role with grace, enthusiasm and determination. She is one of the last crew members to arrive back to camp each night and her job isn’t finished when she arrives home. She has to unload all the trash and recycling and transfer pounds and pounds of bags into the dumpsters. You will never see Stephanie without a smile on her face.
What inspires you to go above and beyond for this cause?
I don’t have any family that has been affected by breast cancer, but I know of many who either are fighting or who have caught their wings. In 2006, I was just looking for a way to up my volunteerism and the 3-Day had been in Kansas City the year before, so I signed up. Best registration EVER!!! Boston 2022 will be my 26th 3-Day, and this does not count the few Avon events nor the one-day Race for the Cure events held in KC over the years. I also tend to return to what I love and that’s route clean-up. There’s something about tossing trash bags, sometimes known as ‘juicers’ by the end of the day. I enjoy it! During the process of crewing, I’ve met many and have heard countless stories of the why’s and who’s and whatnot. I go above and beyond because there is another who cannot and the best reason I can really give is “why not?”
Many 3-Day veterans know this: Cliff and his team, “Cliff’s Crew,” model the heart and soul of the 3-Day in every way. Cliff leads with love and is as humble and as strong as anyone you’ll ever meet. Through all of life’s challenges, Cliff remains steady — a shoulder to lean on, a reassuring voice, a rock. Cliff, you are a Superhero in every sense. It is one of life’s great honors to know you and call you a friend.
What inspires you to go above and beyond?
Oh, so many things. On my first walk it was the walkers that came in on Day 3 with their shoes cut out by medical to relieve the pressure on their feet, or those that came in with ice bags taped to their legs as they limped across the finish line; never giving up. Hugging them in and crying with them in their pain as well as their joy.
The longer I continued to walk, the more survivors I met, both men and women. Those who were walking for family and friends that had passed.
Then I was inspired by my personal heroes of the 3 Day that have mentored me and taught me how to lead. People like Lee & Kathy Giller, Kathy D. of The Cup Crusaders, Larry R. and so many others.
Lastly, the new walkers that contact me asking if they can do this and then later cheering them in on Day 3 when they realize what they’ve done and how they made a difference.
What is your connection to breast cancer?
It started with the loss of my dear friend Betty Lou, but over all these years it has become those walkers who were survivors and now we have lost them. In the Remembrance Tent, I have quite a few friends and teammates who I am honored to have walked with. My team members are my family and they always will be.
As the saying goes, “not all superheroes wear capes.” Some wear pink. Thank you to all of you who show insurmountable support and commitment to finding the cures to breast cancer! Stay tuned for our future 3-Day Superhero blogs.