Jen R. is the 2023 New England Milestone Award Winner!

Meet Jen R., our New England Milestone Award Winner!  

Over the past 14 years, Jen has participated in 15 3-Day events, walking in honor of her best friend, Lori, who lost her battle many years ago. She has been described as a ball of energy when it comes to raising money for the cause, bringing in a whopping $144,904.05 in contributions to breast cancer research and treatment. Her friends and family describe her as a loving, caring and devoted person who will not stop until the cures are found. Since the passing of her best friend, Jen stepped up to help be there for Lori’s three boys and has always treated them as her own. She puts a lot of time into raising money so that others will not have to go through what Lori went through before she passed. Described as having a heart of gold, Jen has volunteered for many activities that will help make the New England 3-Day a success. Get to know this year’s New England Milestone Award Winner.  

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?    

My best friend, Lori, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and walked in 2006 after treatment. She planned on walking in 2007, but her cancer metastasized, and she was too sick. She passed a month after the Boston 3-Day that year. I wanted to walk the 3-Day in her memory, but honestly didn’t know if I would be strong enough. I’ve never looked back since my first walk in 2008. 

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?   

I walk for Lori, I walk for the cures, I walk because I believe in Komen’s mission. But the 3-Day is more than those things. The Pink Bubble can change you; it can help heal your soul. It did for me, and that is why the 3-Day has become such an important part of my life. Lori was my best friend and cousin, but we were like sisters. She was my person. When she passed, I knew I had to be strong and present for her three boys, who I lovingly call my nephews, but I had lost meaning in my world. The 3-Day gave me back that meaning when I needed it most. I will continue to participate until there are cures – for Lori, for her boys, for everyone who has lost someone or is going through this fight. 

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?   

First, I have an AMAZING support system of friends and family who don’t turn their back on me even though I ask them for donations year after year. At this point, I think they all know I’m a 3-Day Lifer and will be asking for donations. The key is to ask. Second, the team that formed around Lori, Lori’s Breast Friends, hosts fundraising events like an annual golf tournament and divides the proceeds among the team members each year. The golf tournament is hard work, but it’s always a great time and a great success. There, too, we have loyal participants who show up year after year. We had one team travel from Colorado to Massachusetts this year to make the tournament! 

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?   

The best advice I can give to a 3-Day participant, whether walker or crew (I’ve done both), is to enjoy the journey. The 3-Day is different for everyone because we all have our own story and our own 3-Day. You might walk the entire thing, you might sweep, you might work at a pit stop — it’s all a beautiful journey and part of your story. I’ve actually tried to take a little bit of that philosophy into my non-Pink Bubble life — appreciate the journey. 

What’s a fun fact about you?

I am an avid Boston University Men’s Ice Hockey fan. In fact, I usually only post on Facebook about the 3-Day/my fundraising or to share my feelings about how the hockey team is doing. I am a season ticket holder and have taken my nephews to games since they were little. I’m proud that they are all Terriers fans! 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?   

This goes back to my advice for participants — enjoy the journey. I think that’s a great way we can bring the Pink Bubble to the rest of the world year-round.