After 10 years and 26 3-Days, Debby R. has raised a lifetime total of more than $65,000 to help find the cures to breast cancer. Affectionately known as Mama Bear by her team Angels for the Cure, Debby is one of the most creative fundraisers that the Pink Bubble has ever seen. Her beloved teammate Bill W. shared that “It does not matter if you are on another team, you can train or fundraise with Angels for a Cure!” She fundraises with car washes, Sonic car hopping, Dippin’ Dots, Muddin’, Rednecks with Paychecks and beyond, always coming up with fun ways to help everyone achieve their fundraising goals. “I was always in awe and sometimes jealous of the ideas and ways she came up with to raise money… she is there to win this fight and to help anyone who needs help to get their money raised,” boasted her friends Donna W. and Sharon R.
Get to know Debby a bit better as we honor her as our 2023 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Milestone Award Winner!
What was your inspiration to participate in your first 3-Day?
My mom was first diagnosed [with breast cancer] in 2002 and started her treatments in 2003. I heard radio advertisements about the 3-Day for a couple of years, but I was first scared away in 2005 when the Dallas/Fort Worth event was in June and I had a 6-month-old. Then in 2006, I was scared away because I was intimidated by the fundraising goal. At the beginning of 2007, my mom sent me an email (an email, really???) to let me know her cancer was back and had metastasized to her lungs. I knew then I couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore, so I went to an info meeting and signed up for my very first event!
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
Like so many others before and more to come, I was terrified that first year that I wouldn’t be able to walk all 60 miles. I waited until the last minute before making the decision to sign up again, but being in the Pink Bubble for three days, meeting new friends and hearing their stories, passing through the cheer stations, getting hugs from a stranger as a thanks for helping to save his wife’s life, how could anyone walk away from all of this? The first walk was for my mom, but every walk afterwards has been for my future, my daughter, my nieces, my sisters, my friends, my Pink Bubble family, and for the next person diagnosed, to give a glimmer of hope for a future.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
I come up with a lot of ideas and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I just keep trying and stick with what works well for me and my team.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Train and fundraise with a team. It could be your team or join an existing one, but when you train and fundraise with others, it’s a better experience.
What’s a fun fact about you?
One time at band camp… yes, I was in band. I was on the flag corps and drill team while in high school for football and concert season. I played the auxiliary percussion instruments (cymbals, bass drum, triangle, bells, xylophone) because I could count and couldn’t read music… LOL
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
You are never alone on the 3-Day. We are all on the same team to eradicate breast cancer.