Traveling to the continental United States from Hawaii for each Susan G. Komen 3-Day she’s participated in, Brooke K.’s dedication to the cause cannot be denied. Having walked 11 3-Days and been a part of the 3-Day crew twice, Brooke is taking on 2023 with a personal fundraising goal higher than she’s ever had before.
How did you first hear about the 3-Day?
I first heard about the 3-Day when I lived in Fort Worth in 2014. I saw a few posters and figured 60 miles would be a fun challenge. I attended a “Get Started” meeting and signed up the next day. I was really pumped when I received my first donation of $7.00!
What is your connection to breast cancer?
My mom, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. I was 11 at the time and my sisters were only 5 and 14. She had a mastectomy, followed by chemo. Life continued and cancer eventually became too normal in our household. Her cancer returned in her lung in 2005. She spent many years fighting but passed away in 2013. I have since met far too many friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer as well.
How many 3-Day events have you participated in?
I have participated in 13 3-Day events. I have walked in 11 events including Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, Twin Cities, and Seattle. I also crewed twice in Dallas/Fort Worth. I plan to participate in multiple cities in 2023!
What was your first 3-Day experience like, and how has your 3-Day experience changed over the years?
My first 3-Day was powerful. I felt comfort from people I had never met. The opportunity to share my heartbreak that year was therapeutic. I loved it so much that I signed up for two walks the following year. My boyfriend, Tim, joined me a year later and continues to walk with me now. My older sister also walked with me one year. It was a bonding moment for us as we walked in my mom’s honor.
Why do you participate in the 3-Day year after year?
As time goes on, the memories of my mom sadly keep fading. The 3-Day is a time for me to take a step back and think about her. I talk about her. I cry about her. I put on my pink for her. I participate so we can find the cures so that other people don’t have to navigate life without their mom. My mom missed some amazing moments in her daughters’ lives. She missed graduations, marriage proposals and the birth of her grandkids. If walking in the 3-Day helps prevent memories from being missed, I am all in.
What do you think the benefits of being on a team are?
I am on an amazing team called Pink Soles in Motion. Our team consists of men and women passionate about fighting cancer. We have collectively raised over $2 million! I joined the team my second year participating in the 3-Day and have made some lifelong friendships. I have benefitted from fundraising opportunities, training encouragement and support. Our team walks in all the cities the 3-Day is in, and we welcome new members. Life is better with breast friends by your side!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
2023 will mark the 10-year anniversary of my mom passing away from breast cancer. I am committed to going big this year and raising $10,000 in her honor. If you are thinking about not walking this year, we need you. If you haven’t walked before, I’ll help you. We must find the cures! This quote sums up what this cause means to me: “My mom taught me everything…except how to live without her.”