60-Miles in the Windy City: The 2023 Chicago 3-Day Recap 

The 3-Day headed to the Midwest and the great city of Chicago! From September 8-10, the Pink Bubble took over the Windy City to walk 60 miles over the course of three transformative days. Together, 700 walkers and 180 crew raised a total of $2.1 million for breast cancer research, community health, patient care and advocacy.  

Day 1 

To begin the Chicago 3-Day, walkers and crew gathered together for a touching Opening Ceremony before embarking on their 60-mile journey. The Pink Bubble filled the room with love, support, and excitement before Survivors and Thrivers led the way as walkers set out on the route. Keeping in trend with the other 2023 3-Days, Day 1 was met with rain showers for the first half of the 20-mile walk, further testing the resiliency of our incredible 3-Dayers.  

Walkers mimicked the skies, opening up to those around them as they exchanged stories as to why they walk. Amongst those sharing their “why” was Christina M., a breast cancer survivor who was accompanied by nine of her close friends and neighbors who all walked in support of her for their very first 3-Day. United by their commitments to find the cures for breast cancer, all ten women walked proudly through the rain with smiles on their faces and blisters on their feet. 

The skies may have been grey, but the city streets were painted pink! 3-Day walkers paraded through downtown Chicago, passing by incredible sights such as Magnificent Mile, Lincoln Park, and Wrigley Field. When walkers returned to camp, they made their way to the Celebration of Champions where Bank of America rewarded our top fundraisers with donations up to $500 to jump start their 2024 3-Day fundraising. Our top fundraiser was first-time walker Cynthia S. who raised over $30,000, also earning her the title of Rookie of the Year! Five lucky participants won $250 in a raffle toward their 2024 fundraising courtesy of Bank of America as well. With Day 1 complete, walkers rested their feet for tomorrow.  

Let’s hear it for our top fundraisers! 

Top Crew Fundraiser: Sara Zimmerman 
Top Walker Fundraiser: Cynthia Sanders 
Top Youth Corps Fundraiser: Ava H. 
Rookie of the Year: Cynthia Sanders 
Top Fundraising Team: Hakuna Ma Tatas 
Top Fundraising Crew Team: Pit Stop 4
Small But Mighty Team: Angels 4 Angels

Day 2 

With the sun high in the sky and not a cloud in sight, walkers boarded buses toward the quaint Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Walkers enjoyed a day full of tree-lined paths and the quiet comfort of the suburbs as they walked 20 miles just outside the city. Sharon S. shared her story as she walks in honor of her mother and aunts who have battled breast cancer. Her beautiful family, including her daughters, wore matching shirts and formed a mobile cheer station with other supporters. Together, they encouraged walkers and lifted the energy wherever they were spotted.  

Sharon S. walks as her family members cheer her on. 

Pit stop 2 was un-bee-livable! The crew was decked out in black and yellow stripes accompanied by buzzworthy décor to save the boo-bees. Walkers then flew to their next stop—the halfway mark at lunch! While seated on her Mohawk SmartCushion, one walker looked up and saw her friend who drove in from Minnesota that day to surprise her. You never know what, or who, you’ll find while walking the 3-Day! 

Walkers continued on and strolled past the iconic Home Alone house. Don’t worry though, nobody was left behind! They swam over to pit stop 4 where they were met with bikini-clad crew aboard the S.S. TaTa at Lake MineTaTa before making their way back to the busses and returning to camp. The Honor Ceremony commenced with the beautiful Youth Corps who spoke as to why they participate in the 3-Day. Heartfelt speeches were given, including one by the mother-in-law of Morgan P., a 25-year-old who lost her battle with breast cancer last year, just weeks after her wedding. With hearts heavy as we were all reminded of our why, participants lined the way to the Remembrance Room with candles in honor of those who fuel their footsteps.  

Day 3 

20-mile walkers joined the Pink Bubble and made their way through the city on this sunny day! After a quick trip past the Chicago River, walkers found themselves surrounded by skyscrapers at Maggie Daley Park where they visited their first pit stop of the day. Some famous crew members including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head served them snacks and refreshments to fuel their journey. Wait, Andy’s coming!  

Continuing their walk through the bustling city streets, walkers breathed in fresh air as they strolled along stunning Lake Michigan. Angela E., an XPO employee and breast cancer survivor, wore their logo proudly across her shirt as she walked alongside her friend, Angie, who is also a survivor. She spoke to the importance of health equity and how incredible Komen is in expanding breast cancer research. “This is an absolutely great cause,” she stated proudly. “Thirty years ago, this crowd would have been thinned out because they didn’t have the resources that we have now, and [Angie and I] would not be standing here if it wasn’t for this.” She went on to state that equity and age, race, and socioeconomic status should not dictate one’s treatment plan, and how truly incredible this walk is. “It’s hard,” she said, “but without this I wouldn’t have had the best doctors that were available to me.” 

Inspired as ever, walkers finished out their journey before returning to the hotel for the Finish Line Festival. As they paraded across the Mohawk Pink Carpet, emotion filled the room as much as the aroma of the freshly popped popcorn. Each walker made their way to the ballroom where they were greeted by Nature’s Bounty and Ready before sitting back to relax in the Bank of America massage chairs. As the last walker came in, crew lined the way to the stage before shoes were raised in the air to honor our Survivors and Thrivers. It was at this time that we learned that the 2023 Chicago 3-Day raised $2.1 million in the fight against breast cancer. What an incredible way to close out our time in the Windy City! 

All in all, the Chicago 3-Day was one to remember!