The Journey to $250K – Riley W.’s Story

Join us in congratulating Riley W., a dedicated 3-Day walker who has raised more than $250,000 in the fight against breast cancer.  

How long have you been participating in the 3-Day and how many events have you done?  

2022 marked my 12th 3-Day. I count the Covid years, as I did my own 3-Day by myself in Nashville in 2020. Then in 2021, my teammate Lyndell flew to Nashville and we did 3-Day Nation together. 

What is your connection to breast cancer?  

I first became involved with the 3-Day in 2010 when my sister needed someone to walk with. At that time, we had already lost my grandmother to breast cancer and my aunt was in remission. My cousin also had been diagnosed, but like her mom, was doing well. Soon after our walk in Philly in 2010, my sister was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She fought long and hard for just over a year and a half before she lost her battle. I had a woman I was super close with who I referred to as my second “ma” for many years. She was diagnosed a few months after my sister. I remember asking her if they had checked to see if it was triple negative; she had no idea what that was. But two weeks later, she too was diagnosed with triple negative. Two years later, she lost her battle.  

Why do you think it’s important to raise money for this cause?  

Many reasons! Many women {and men} are living longer now with new drugs and treatments. Aside from the incredible research Susan G. Komen does and the help that is given to those who need it during their journeys with breast cancer, it brings awareness. People see why I am in a war against breast cancer and how many people I have lost to it. 

What makes you go above and beyond the fundraising minimum requirement?  

One of the things I always think (and sometimes tell people!) who say they don’t have any money to give… what if that Starbucks you bought this morning is the last $5 that Komen needed to find a cure? Would you have $5 for that? Because I think that’s how close we are. Every dollar brings us one step closer and helps so many along the way.  

What are your best fundraising tips?  

ASK EVERYONE! I don’t care if they’re long-standing friends/donors or I meet someone at the grocery store. Tell people your story. Know where the money goes to be able to quickly explain it to those who are skeptical, and we all know those people are out there. I also wear breast cancer awareness shirts when I start the big push for raising money.  

Any advice you have for those struggling to meet their fundraising goal?  

Literally, ask everyone. You’d be surprised how many folks want to help. Ask your nail or hair salon if you can put a bucket out with your story on it. Ask your neighborhood. Get your neighbors to do a big yard sale with you and proceeds can go to your walk ― or you offer to run the whole thing if they donate whatever they don’t want to you. You could make $500 easily in a morning, or more! Ask your donors to ask their friends if anyone they know or love has ever been touched by breast cancer. And if so, if they would contribute. I have found out that people don’t donate because we don’t ask. 

What does the 3-Day Pink Bubble mean to you?  

My sister LOVED the Pink Bubble. So for me, it’s a sense of family, it’s a battlefield and it’s a home. We are all warriors but when we come together, I feel like everyone we’re walking for is walking with us, celebrating with us, cheering us on. That’s the vision I see in my head when I think I cannot walk one more step.  

What’s something you want the Pink Bubble to know about you?  

I’ll be walking until we find the cures. Or I can’t walk anymore. Whichever one comes first. I really hope it’s the first one! I’m on a mission to destroy breast cancer in all its ugly forms. 

Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment, Riley! Thank you for your commitment to the 3-Day and the fight against breast cancer. Read about other amazing walkers who have raised $250,000 here.