Hi, my name is Gwen and I want to share the reasons I’m walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in San Diego this November.
My friend Linda formed a team to support her sister-in-law, Tracy, after she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She invited me and numerous other friends to join her. I said yes!
I had been toying with the idea of either walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Denver or San Diego this year but hadn’t committed yet. Linda’s invitation helped me decide!
I walked the AVON 39 breast cancer walk in September of 2016 in Santa Barbara. It was an incredible experience! I walked in honor of the many women in my family and life that have had breast cancer. My grandmother Veronica and my aunt Terrie were both diagnosed in their 30’s and lost their lives to breast cancer in their late 40’s. My aunt Patty, aunt Rosie, cousin Yvette and friends Marla and Lee are all survivors!
I asked two friends to join me on the AVON 39 walk. We trained diligently and were able to meet our fundraising goals. We stayed in a hotel and ate dinner at fun restaurants. It was a wonderful weekend. But I was truly amazed at how life changing the actual walk was for me. I met so many wonderful people while walking mile after mile. I heard their stories of loss, love and hope. We walked on September 11th. It was such an inspiring place to be 15 years after such a tragic day in our country’s history. I was touched by how hundreds of strangers were brought together to give hope to those fighting breast cancer and to honor those who lost their battles.
Two years after walking AVON 39 in 2016, my friend Carrie invited me and many of her friends to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Atlanta. I said yes, again. We trained and fundraised successfully. The experience was fabulous! We were a group of eight women, many whom had walked in previous Susan G. Komen 3-Days. Again, I was in awe of the people participating in the walk. I listened to my fellow walkers’ stories and became connected to these people whom I had just met. I was blown away by the support from volunteers and the people who cheered for us along the way. Another incredible experience!
In 2019, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She completed all her treatment and is enjoying life as a soon-to-be survivor. In 2025 she will be an official survivor!
In 2020, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The pet scan revealed a suspicious spot on my breast, and in 2021 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I, too, have completed my treatment. My mom and I both take daily medication to prevent recurrence. I am in remission and look forward to 2027 when I will be an official survivor!
My multiple myeloma is also in remission but is not curable. Thankfully it is treatable, and I tolerate the monthly treatments well.
I am walking for many reasons. First and foremost, to honor all the women I know who have battled this disease including myself. Although some have gone down, we are all warriors! Second, to raise funds for breast cancer awareness programs and research. Third, to connect with the other walkers and volunteers. The walk is a truly hopeful and joyful experience.
As a past walker, I know the time, effort and diligence it takes to be successful. Starting now is the best way to achieve those goals. “A little progress everyday adds up to big results!”
You can read more inspiring stories about members of the Pink Bubble on the 3-Day Blog.
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