All Along the Way, Eduardo R. will be there to SUPPORT You | June—Word of the Year

Today, we’re excited to meet eight-time crew/walker, Eduardo R. Let’s learn why he chose support as his word of the year.

Tell us about your 3-Day experience.

I have walked four times (Michigan 2006, Boston 2009, Michigan 2016 and Boston 2019. I crewed six of the seven walks in 2019, and I’ve walker-stalked my wife Donna all years since 2006 that I wasn’t walking or crewing. 

What is your 2021 word of the year?


Why is that your word of the year?

Support is what I’ve been doing since my first walk. I needed to support my wife in this incredibly important cause. The least I could do was to be there for her. Her mom is a two-time survivor. Two years ago, my wife became a survivor. We all know someone who has been afflicted with breast cancer. 

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

To support my wife, Donna, and everyone that is involved in the 3 Day, i.e., crew, walkers, visitors.

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?

Just that—being part of a family. It is always so good to see new-found friends throughout the country. It is like a family reunion. 

How does your word of the year connect to the 3-Day?

I support the Cause. My wife. Walkers. Crew. Other support personnel.

If you could share a message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to get involved. It will be a life-long experience. My very first walk was the single most emotional event I had up to that point. I boo-hooed like a child at closing ceremony.

We’re so grateful for Eduardo’s support, and we hope you take a moment today to recognize those who support you along your journey. Send the text or email. Call them. Post on their wall. Show them you are grateful.

Other Word of the Year Blog Posts

Kathy R. H. keeps the FAITH going with her commitment to finding a cure | May—Word of the Year

Through it all, especially in the Medical Tent, Hal G. shows PERSEVERANCE | April —Word of the Year

Tracie G. is ready to INSPIRE everyone around her in 2021 | March—Word of the Year

Carolyn P.’s Heart is Filled with GENEROSITY in 2021 | February—Word of the Year

Riley W. Chooses To Walk Into 2021 Being GRATEFUL | January—Word of the Year

Meet our AVEENO® Champions

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the Susan G. Komen’s AVEENO® Champions Contest—our five AVEENO® Champions! These special members of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® community each bring their own unique chapters to the 3-Day story, and we’re proud to be able to share them with you on the blog. As you continue to prepare for your 3-Day journey, AVEENO® Cares and is here for you as a resource and support system. Today, join AVEENO® Cares and the Komen 3-Day family as we introduce our five AVEENO® Champions. #AveenoCares

Jennifer R.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I first participated in the 3-Day in 2008, and I have participated once each year since. 2021 will be my 13th walk. I’ve walked most of them but have crewed two. I walked and crewed in Boston through 2013, and then walked Seattle, Philadelphia twice, and San Diego twice; I returned to New England in 2019.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

My best friend/sister-by-heart/cousin, Lori D., was diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer. We have a strong family history, so the only thing that was surprising was that she was so young when diagnosed (31). The women in our family are also survivors, so we were hopeful. Lori’s other best friend, Bonnie G., wanted to do something big and signed up for the 2006 3-Day after she heard an ad on the radio. Lori had finished treatment and walked with her and one other woman; I decided not to join them — it seemed too daunting. I had participated in smaller walks before, and, honestly, the crowds of people and intense heat did not bring out the best in me.

Lori loved the 3-Day and signed up for 2007. I mentioned to her that I felt I should walk with her and she assured me it was not “Jen-friendly” due to the reasons I mentioned. Before she could walk in the 2007 walk, Lori was diagnosed with lung cancer (which no one could understand), and her breast cancer metastasized to her brain and her spine. She was too sick to walk in August 2007 and passed away at the beginning of September. I knew I had to walk the 2008 3-Day in her honor. She was devoted to the 3-Day; when diagnosed with lung cancer, many suggested she quit the 3-Day and do the Relay for Life instead — she refused. The 3-Day was important to Lori; now, it was equally important to me.

I signed up for the 2008 3-Day and told my teammates (our team was named Lori’s Breast Friends) that I didn’t know if I would be emotionally able to actually walk all three days, but I would try. I walked all 60 miles — for Lori. I continue to participate in the 3-Day for Lori, and so we can have a future where breast cancer doesn’t take someone’s best friend, sister, mother, cousin — anyone.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I applied to be an AVEENO® Champion because I had used AVEENO® products in the past and wanted to try to support a company that was sponsoring the 3-Day. The companies that support Komen and the 3-Day have an increased value in my book, and I thought I would try to support one. Also, I thought if I liked the products, being an AVEENO® Champion would be a great way to share my “approval” of the products and company with my friends on social media — a way to give back to a company that is giving to the 3-Day.

Lynda dC.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

2021 will be my 13th experience with the 3-Day. I started in 2002 in San Francisco, walking and then crewing. In 2006, I walked the 3-Day in Seattle, a grueling event that is still talked about today by those who participated. I began my annual participation in the San Diego 3-Day in 2010, and I’m now a five-time walker and four-time crew member for pit stops and camp services. I had to sit out in 2019 but will be back in San Diego for 2021. I look forward to the 2021 San Diego virtual kick-off!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

In 2002, I only knew one person who was affected by breast cancer. My aunt had passed away long before the advances in treatment that are available today. In her memory and as a personal physical challenge, I made the commitment to train, fundraise, and take the 3-Day journey. All it took was one experience, and I was “hooked.” The 3-Day mission is always my main reason for joining, and the experiences, people, joy, and friendships keep me participating every year.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

The 3-Day brings awareness to breast cancer and our commitment to find a cure. As a major part of that effort, Susan G. Komen and 3-Day participants focus on health and well-being. In turn, AVEENO® products emphasize well-being, and being named one of the Champions means that together, we will bring health into the spotlight. It is an honor to be one of the AVEENO® Champions.

Julie “Alaska Julie” J.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I have participated in 25 events — walked 23 and crewed two in Arizona, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, Seattle, New England, Michigan, and Philadelphia. I wish I could remember how many in each city, but I can’t! I also did a solo 3-Day in Alaska this summer…so really I count that I’ve done 26 events, but the Alaska one wasn’t official.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I did my first event not knowing anyone who had breast cancer. I was sitting in my apartment in Arizona when I saw a commercial for the 3-Day. I was at a point in my life when I needed to do something for others. I figured I would do one and be done. Boy, was I wrong. Once I learned more and met so many amazing people involved in the 3-Day, I knew I had to keep walking and raising awareness and money for breast cancer. I will continue to do so till there is a cure. I have learned so much to be able to help friends and strangers who have been diagnosed. I also put together chemo and radiation boxes for people and also serve as a chemo partner if they need one.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

First, I already use AVEENO®. It is cold and dry in Alaska in the winter. I am excited to spread the word that AVEENO® is a new sponsor for the 3-Day, to let people going through treatment know how AVEENO® can help them, and how AVEENO® is supporting Susan G. Komen. I am also happy to represent and spread the word about Komen and the 3-Day.

Carolyn P.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I created a team, Feet to Beat Breast Cancer, in 2005. This will be our 16th year walking —– 14 in Atlanta, one in San Diego, and now we’re going to Chicago in 2021 — where we will surpass our $1,000,000 fundraising milestone! We have an absolutely amazing group, which now includes both my teenage sons!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I cannot NOT participate. My mom, sister and several close friends and teammates have battled breast cancer. I have lost two of those teammates, both young moms. I have seen so much pain, suffering and loss. The 3-Day gives me hope. Susan G. Komen has facilitated incredible progress in all facets of this disease, and I am proud to be a part of that. My team and the people I have met through the walk have had a profound impact on my life. It is truly a gift to be able to share the road and the journey with tremendous men and women while raising money for breast cancer research and patient support.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am very honored to be named an AVEENO® Champion! As a loyal customer, I was excited to hear AVEENO® would serve as a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series. I respect the company not only for its product excellence, but for its commitment to wellness. “We are committed to healthy, holistic practices that ensure we always do right by you, your family and the planet.” I am proud to support this company who is so generously giving back!

Kerrie K.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I walked the Atlanta 3-Day in 2017 & 2018, the San Diego 3-Day in 2019, and I am walking Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego in 2021 — I can’t wait!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

It does not matter where we come from, who we are, or what country we live in. We all are connected as the human race in knowing someone that is battling breast cancer. It’s awful, isn’t it? I lost my mom, aunts, and friends to cancer, but I have also seen remission in others. We all have our purpose in our lives, and we are all Mighty Pink Warriors. This is my purpose — to raise money, walk for those who can’t, and give hope to others. Hopefully, this world will be without cancer someday! I love that possibility.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am so happy and honored to part to be part of this wonderful opportunity with Susan G. Komen and AVEENO® in our fight against breast cancer. Together, we can give men and women hope in the fight against breast cancer! 

Thanks to AVEENO® for their continued support of the 3-Day, and congratulations again to our AVEENO® Champions!

The 3-Day Family Celebrates our Veterans

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank our Veterans for their service. Many members of the 3-Day family are Veterans or active service members and today we are honored to share some of their stories on the 3-Day blog.

Meet Frank M., Dan S., Sherry P., and Sandi BJ. Between the four of them, they have participated in an astounding 106 3-Days. As Veterans of the Air Force, Navy, and Army, they have shown dedication to our country and to our 3-Day community, and for that, we are truly grateful.

When we asked Dan what message he’d share with the Pink Bubble, “As a dad and a Veteran, let me share this. In this life you get two families; one was given at birth or assigned shortly thereafter and one you chose. Your given family is just that, and certain facets of those relationships are out of your control. Your chosen family are those you let into your inner peace; choose them wisely and cherish them. Some will last for just moments; others will last a lifetime. Be kind, be gentle and smile.”

To Frank, Dan, Sherry, Sandi, and all of the active service members and Veterans within our 3-Day chosen family, we thank you, and we cherish you. Spend a little time getting to know these four inspiring 3-Day participants.

Frank M. | Air Force Veteran
15-Time 3-Day Walker. Walking in New England and San Diego in 2021.

Why did you join the armed forces?
I signed up for the Air Force during my senior year of high school in 1978. I went in soon after graduation in August of 1979. I knew I didn’t want to go to college right away and wanted to learn a career. I ended up selecting a career in Inventory Management/Logistics. I spent the next 20 years traveling around the world. Best decision I ever made because it set me up for the rest of my life!

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
I can’t say enough about my 3-Day family! Since doing my first walk in 2010, I have made so many lifelong friends. The hardest part of 2020 was not getting to see them on our regular 3-Day weekends in Boston and San Diego! I think the 3-Day attracts a lot of big-hearted people and that is why the “Pink Bubble” is such an awesome experience! We need more of that loving, caring feeling in the world!

Are there any things you learned or experienced in the military that you brought to your 3-Day experience, or vice versa?
A couple of things! 1. In the military you also become part of a family, especially when you are stationed overseas and you have to count on each other. 2. Teamwork! On my first walk, I was lucky enough to join the “Men with Heart” team in Boston. We decided to be the “Boy Scouts” of these walks. We all carry backpacks filled with supplies anyone on the walk might need. We brought this same teamwork to Philly when there was no 3-Day in Boston that year. We joined forces with the “Friends with Heart” team there and ended up being the top fundraisers for the Philadelphia 3-Day four years in a row. I am so proud of that team that I co-captained with my dear friend and survivor, Sharon Slosarik.

This Veterans Day, if you could share one message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?
In the military, you learn to adjust and adapt! This year has been hard on all of us. Know that we WILL get back together in the “Pink Bubble,” but until then, we still need to get together as a team to raise the money that is still so desperately needed for this cause we come together for! I can’t wait to see you all out there on future walks! Much love to my pink family! ❤️🤗 

Dan S. | Navy Veteran
11-Time 3-Day Walker. 44-Time 3-Day Crew Member. Crewing in Chicago, New England, and San Diego in 2021.

Why did you join the armed forces?
In 1968, most of us had two choices if we were healthy: Join the military or get drafted. I preferred to enlist to have a little say in my future. Being from a Navy family — my father, brother, and 8 uncles all served — it just seemed like the right option. After I completed four years of active duty, I was given the opportunity to sign on with the reserve component of the Navy Air Wing. I was assigned to a brand new squadron flying out of the Detroit area. VP-93 was a squadron of land-based P-3 aircraft which patrol the oceans in an anti-submarine capacity. Within the squadron, flight crews were formed, and those men were your family.

After 28 years, I retired from the Navy and found a lot of time on my hands and an energy I could not describe. And then I became involved with the 3-Day back in 2004 to complete a civic service phase of a class I was taking. The following year, my daughter asked me to do it again with her this time. Then, after a couple more years, a bond began to form, and our little pink family took root. To my daughter’s team I was just “Dad.” As the years went on and our family expanded, it changed to “3-Day Dad,” as I am significantly older than most, and that newfound energy gave me a purpose.

Are there any things you learned or experienced in the military that you brought to your 3-Day experience, or vice versa?
In the military, as years went by, you took the younger service members under your wing and trained and protected them as if they were your own. At the 3-Day events, as part of the crew I found myself doing much the same thing. Sure, staff is there to run the walk, as it should be, but they may not get to see the individuals change as the 3-Days go on, and even more so as the years progress. I have, and it has changed my life!

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
I have made acquaintances, friends, and a “Pink Bubble Family” through my time with Susan G. Komen. Being a multi-city crew member and walker, I have met so many people over the years that I call friends and some that I call anytime I want to. I have become a minister to officiate at their wedding, and I sadly have attended too many of their memorial services.

Sherry P. | Navy Veteran
14-Time 3-Day Walker. Walking in San Diego in 2021.

Why did you join the armed forces?
One day when I was seven, I went to work with my Daddy. When a young guy walked up and asked him a question and then listened to the answer before thanking him and walking away, I thought, “WOW! My Dad must be important!” I asked him why that guy had talked to him like that. Daddy said, “Because I’m a Navy Chief! He’d better talk to me like that!” I asked what was more important than a Chief and he said a Senior Chief. I told him that was what I was going to be. He laughed; I laughed. Ten years later, I joined the Navy. I am so thankful for the opportunities I had in the Navy. I traveled the world, made friends, and earned two college degrees — the first in my family to do so. I would do it all again if I had the chance. By the way, when I retired in 2011, I was a Senior Chief, and my Daddy was my biggest fan!

I actually started walking in the 3-Day because a newly promoted Navy Chief friend of mine had walked in 2008 but couldn’t walk in 2009 because he was being deployed to Iraq. I told him I would take his place and walk for him. He said, “You have to raise $2,300.” I replied, “Okay.” Then he said, “You have to walk 60 miles.” Again, I said, “Okay.” “Why would you do that?” he asked me. “Because that’s what Navy Chiefs do. We take care of each other. You made a commitment, and the Navy isn’t letting you keep it. So, I’ll do it for you,” I told him. The rest was history.

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
One of the first things you learn in the military is that family isn’t always blood or marriage; most of the time it’s just people who share life-changing experiences. Family is about people who are there when you need them and will drop everything when they get your call. Some of my family, the people who mean the most to me, I met while we shared a few miles, smiles, or tears on a 3-Day event.

I’ve walked in 14 events in 9 locations, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego, Twin Cities, and Michigan. I have seen some of my 3-Day family at multiple 3-Day events, and others I have only seen once. Some of my Navy family are also a part of my 3-Day family. How cool is that? It’s amazing how such a diverse group (politics, race, gender, marital status, geographic location, hobbies, etc.) has come together for a cause so much bigger than each of us. After one event, and before the next one, we keep in touch via phone or social media. Together we celebrate each other’s successes, mourn losses, and everything in between. It truly has been a blessing to me. The 3-Day may not be my family by blood or marriage, but they are every bit as important in my life.

I have 3-Day/Navy family in almost every state. I live in the middle of nowhere outside of Amarillo, Texas, and some of my favorite memories are when someone rolled into my driveway in the middle of the night needing a place to park, warm bed, a cup of coffee, or just a hug.

Just like I followed my Daddy’s footsteps in the Navy, my youngest son followed mine (literally) in the 3-Day. Robby served on the Youth Corps for two years (Dallas/Fort Worth 2016 and 2017) and has walked in two events (San Diego 2018 and Michigan 2019). My 3-Day family has watched him grow into a terrific young man, and I love watching their kids grow up, too!

Are there any things you learned or experienced in the military that you brought to your 3-Day experience, or vice versa?
Change your socks! HA! Anyone who has ever been in the military or the 3-Day has been told to change their socks early and often. I know it sounds simple, and maybe that’s the point. Something so simple, and often overlooked, can make a world of difference.

This Veterans Day, if you could share one message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?
This year has been difficult on so many levels with a pandemic, events cancelled, politics, weather events, etc. It can be overwhelming, but if we focus on the important things in our life, our friends, our family, and our faith, we will get through.   

Sandi BJ | Army Veteran
9-Time 3-Day Walker. 13-Time 3-Day Crew Member. Walking in New England and Chicago in 2021. Crewing Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego in 2021.

Why did you join the armed forces?
I was in my second year of college when I joined the Army. I joined for the GI benefit. I originally wanted to join the Army’s Nursing School, but there was a year’s wait. So, I took a job in Europe.

What does the 3-Day family mean to you?
The 3-Day is “family” to me. Over the years, I’ve met a group of “acquaintances” who have become family, especially during my multiple cancers.

Are there any things you learned or experienced in the military that you brought to your 3-Day experience, or vice versa?
There is a saying shared among soldiers in the Army — “Don’t volunteer.” I did the opposite — I volunteered. I continue to volunteer in my community, women’s Veterans’ groups, charity events and the 3-Day. I walk and I crew.

This Veterans Day, if you could share one message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?
Thank a Veteran — especially women Veterans — who are often ignored. When I was in the Army, Veterans and military members were not treated well by the public due to Vietnam, even though Vietnam had been over for a few years. It was not until the Gulf in the 1990s that Veterans and the military were “thanked for their service.”