2022 New England 3-Day Recap

Returning to New England for the first time since 2019, members of the Pink Bubble traveled from all across the country to participate in the first 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day of the year! August 26-28 were three special days as walkers, crew and volunteers completed 60 miles and raised $2.7 million in the fight against breast cancer.

Day 1

The first day of the event started with excitement and adrenaline during the Opening Ceremony, where we met host Lori Maris and emcee Kimberly Reinika! We raised our Promise Flag and then headed out on the route from the beautiful Marriott Copley Place.

Walkers got a full taste of the Boston suburbs this day, passing through areas such as Brookline and Newton, and also getting to see some of the most historic higher education campuses! We got a full view of both Boston College and Boston University, an institution that benefits from Komen research funds. Komen Scholar Dr. Julie Palmer from Boston University said, “Komen has a long history of working to decrease breast cancer health disparities, most recently with their Health Equity Initiative, which makes community engagement the foundation of change. I hope to contribute to these activities while continuing with my own research projects.”

Unfortunately, lightning and thunderstorms rolled in in the late afternoon, but thankfully 3-Day sweep vans and route safety crew worked together to gather all walkers still out on the route and bring them back to the hotel safely. Spirits were lifted back up with dinner and game night, as we played “junk in the trunk,” re-energized our skin with Natura Bissé Diamond Mist, enjoyed a community sing along and of course, sat in the relaxing Bank of America massage chairs.

Day 2

As always, Saturday morning was the Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we honored all of our top fundraisers! The fundraising efforts that all walkers, crew and Youth Corps do is truly amazing, and reminds us all that we’re in it together to put an end to this disease.

On the way to Pit Stop 1, walkers got a beautiful view of both Dorchester Bay and Pleasure Bay before getting refueled. After passing the Seaport District, they re-entered downtown into the beautiful Boston Common for Pit Stop 2.

Leaving Pit Stop 2, it was nothing but smiles as we passed the iconic “Cheers” bar and then Fenway Park, which made for some great photo ops!

We were also able to walk past Harvard University, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute that benefits from Komen Research funds. Interns from Dana-Farber came out and helped cheer on walkers! Komen Scholar and Dana-Farber medical oncologist, Nikhil Wagle, M.D. said “I’m in with Komen because they help support my research in metastatic breast cancer to try to make a difference for all the patients with metastatic disease.”

Lunch on Day 2 is always special, as we have our Halfway Celebration! Walkers ran through the pink streamer arch, relaxed on Mohawk Flooring’s SmartCushion, and participated in our Halfway Celebration dance before heading back on the route.

And though no alcohol is allowed on or off the route on the 3-Day, we did pass by Sam Adams Brewery before returning to the hotel after completing 40 miles of the 60-mile journey!

After taking photos at the Day 2, 40 miles banner, we ate delicious 3-Day mac & cheese and prepared for the Honor Ceremony. The stories and personal experiences told, along with individual declarations by our New England Youth Corps, reminded us all that while the 3-Day is such a fun event, we’re all here for one reason: to find the cures for this disease that has affected us all in one way or another. We lit our candles, placed them in our pink luminaria bags, and lined them up in our hotel room windowsills.

Day 3

The morning of Day 3 is always bittersweet. While excited to complete this journey and accomplish 60 miles in just three days, we don’t quite want this experience to be over yet.

Parallel to us finishing our own marathon of sorts, we started the Day 3 route at the Boston Marathon Finish Line. We then traveled through breathtaking Boston Common one last time before embracing the truly historic sights New England has to offer.

Shortly after passing Pit Stop 1, walkers encountered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Komen grantee, Dr. Regina Barzilay, is using artificial intelligence to predict breast cancer and personalize treatment.

We then made our way to the Freedom Trail. Not only did we see the historical USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument, but we also saw the Boston Tea Party ships!

Both lunch and Pit Stop 3 had gorgeous views, looking over Boston’s West End at North Point Park and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, respectively.

But it was the Lawn on D, our amazing Closing Ceremony site, that brought us all home. We were welcomed by a local cheer team, we celebrated our last walker and shared the Closing Ceremony with the smiling faces of our 800 New England 3-Day walkers and 175 crew members.

We raised our commit flags to honor those we walk for, and raised our shoes to salute our survivors. Together, we raised $2.7 million in the fight against breast cancer.

We thank all of our amazing participants not only for the life-changing funds they raised, but for the laughs, the cries, the hugs and high fives we all had together this weekend.

And thank you, New England, for welcoming us with open arms as we kicked off our 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series!

What was your favorite part about the New England 3-Day? Whether a sight or a story, tell us in the comments!

Shannon B. Is Ready to Join the Pink Bubble

Breast cancer survivor Shannon B. will be making her Susan G. Komen 3-Day debut in Chicago this year. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, recently undergoing reconstruction surgery and raising over $32,000 to date, Shannon is ready to take on 60 miles and join the Pink Bubble. 

What is your connection to breast cancer?  

I was diagnosed with stage 2, HER2+ breast cancer in October 2020, had 6 rounds of TCHP chemo, a full year of Herceptin, a bi-lateral mastectomy with 7 lymph nodes removed, 28 radiation treatments, and most recently, reconstruction surgery. 

Why did you sign up for the 3-Day?  

Ironically, I have felt so lucky and privileged through this whole process of having support, good insurance, a flexible employer, and a “best possible outcome” of being cancer-free with a low chance of recurrence. I know that SO MANY others have it much harder than I have, and I feel like I NEED to do something to help others fight breast cancer and fund research that has helped save my life. My oncologist told me that just 10-15 years ago HER2+ breast cancer was one of the deadliest because they didn’t yet know how to treat it. It’s because of research, trials, and the incredible individuals before me that my medical team knew the exact path forward to get me to this cancer-free stage. 

What do you hope to gain from this experience?  

More than anything I hope to make a difference, so others don’t have to deal with this disease, the treatments, side effects, surgeries, etc. Or if they do, maybe the money I raise can help make it just a little bit easier by helping with medical bills, transportation, etc. 

How did you raise so much money in such a short period of time?  

I am no fundraising superstar, but am surrounded by incredible people in my personal and professional life. I have worked at the same company for over 10 years and have built amazing relationships with people all over the country. My family and friends have never wavered in their support. I created a fundraiser on Facebook and posted on LinkedIn and Instagram. My birthday and anniversary of my last TCHP chemo treatment is coming up so I hope to do a few posts to bring in another wave of donations. I have raised A LOT of money, but it still wouldn’t cover the cost of one of my chemo treatments pre-insurance. 

What are you most looking forward to regarding the event?  

I am looking forward to being surrounded by others who are so committed to the cause that they are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to this incredible challenge. And selfishly, I am walking with one of my best friends and I can’t wait to have three days together! What am I least looking forward to (not that you asked)? I am a crier and will likely be crying 80% of the three days; it will be a hard weekend emotionally. 

What advice would you like to seek or questions you’d like to ask from any veteran walkers?  

Please tell me the blisters are avoidable! I can and have survived a lot, but I am a big wimp when it comes to blisters! 

Do you have any advice for Shannon or any other first-time walkers? Tell us your best tips and tricks for conquering the 3-Day in the comments!