Happy Incredible Kid Day! We have plenty of Incredible Kids as a part of our 3-Day family, so this day is always a fun and exciting one to recognize the future of our pink family. They are the next generation of walkers, crew members, supporters and more. Every kid who joins this journey is making a difference towards reaching Komen’s Bold Goal.
One amazing (or incredible!) example of that is Jaden C. from the Atlanta 3-Day. He started off as a walker stalker, then Youth Corps member, and is now walking the full 60 miles alongside his “Nana” Gwen this year. This journey, she says, is all part of a promise that Jaden made to her years ago.
“I am overcome with pride to see Jaden’s continued commitment and dedication to the fight to end breast cancer! I could not have imagined he would ever be walking the 3-Day. He kept the promise he made as a new Youth Corps member years ago, which was to walk the 60 mile 3-Day as soon as he was old enough!”
Nana was also the catalyst in Jaden’s joining the Youth Corps in his younger years. She encouraged him to apply, and he says he was “lucky” to be accepted. Since then, he has made friends and new family on the 3-Day.
Jaden says, “My Youth Corps involvement was an amazing experience over the past several years. I have met so many friends that I now consider family. We stay in touch and have formed a bond that can never be broken. Participation in the Youth Corps has changed my perspectives about commitment, dedication, determination and leadership in many areas of my life.
It’s personal and means so much to me in ways that many people wouldn’t understand. My Youth Corps friends promised we would someday all walk together as a team. I’ve wanted to walk for years and to finally be so close to doing so means the world to me. I can’t wait!”
He is only months away from walking his first 60-mile 3-Day, and Jaden has already begun training and preparing. This spring, he will use his Track and Field practices to help sneak in extra training and has no doubt he will meet, or even exceed, his fundraising goals. He is motivated to keep his promise to his Nana, and all the walkers he has supported in years past.
“The camaraderie of people, the environment, the overall family affair aspect of the 3-Day, the celebration throughout Atlanta, and keeping my promise…That’s all what I’m most looking forward to.”
Jaden truly is More Than Pink.
But, when we asked him who is More Than Pink in his own life, Jaden’s answer was easy. It all came back to his Nana.
“My grandmother (my Nana) is more than pink! She works hard for our family on a constant basis regardless of how she may feel. She’s battled through breast cancer before and, years prior to her diagnosis, lost her sister (who she watched battle this disease on more than one occasion), and she has had to adjust to a “new normal.” She encourages other survivors who now come to her with concerns and questions about her experience.
She has continued to walk and support the 3-Day for years. Nana and I walked together as 20-milers last year as the VA DUO! It was a privilege and pleasure to team up with her to walk in my aunt Debbie’s memory and in my Nana’s honor as a survivor. We crossed the finish line as a family along with Pink Angel Divas!
I will be her legs and strength this year! The journey is not over!”
Gwen echoes his excitement, love and support.
“I am so proud of this young man who has fought to overcome so many obstacles in life. I believe his determination and outlook can be attributed, in part, to the experiences and lessons learned as part of the 3-Day family!
We (his family) are all so proud of him for embarking on this incredible journey for such a worthy cause because for us, IT’S PERSONAL!”
We are honored to be a part of your journey, Jaden and Gwen. We can’t wait to see you take on those incredible 60 miles in October in Atlanta.
For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.
Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Stephanie Hartman.
This is her 7th year as Captain of the Youth Corps and 12th year participating in the 3Day. She has raised more than $1,400 this year!
Where does she get all her 3-Day spirit? Let’s hear from Steph! When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
I began participating in the 3-Day in memory of my mother. I have been involved with the Race for the Cure since I was 8 years old (in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh during college, and recently DC). When I heard about the 3Day, I knew it was a way for me to do more and honor my mother’s death.
My mother was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer at the age of 33. She had a mastectomy after a mass was found. She was 2 months pregnant with me. Further scans showed the cancer had spread throughout her body including her vertebrae, skull, and sternum. She began chemotherapy when she was 10.5 weeks pregnant. At 13 weeks pregnant, she had her ovaries removed after metastatic tumor deposits were found. She continued treatment for the duration of the pregnancy. I was born premature but healthy.
At the young age of 36, my mother’s battle with breast cancer ended. I was only 2 years old. My mother left behind her loving husband (my father) and 6 children (ages 2-16).
My first inspiration was for my mother, my sisters, my nieces, and myself.
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
I have many reasons for coming back year after year. Obviously, my initial reasons: to honor my mother and because I don’t believe any child should grow up without a mother, but as I have participated over the past 11 years, I have gained more and more reasons.
The 3-Day has brought me a 2nd family. When I first started the 3-Day, I thought breast cancer automatically meant death. I was afraid for myself and my family, and thought it was an inevitable future. Because I was so young when my mother died, I didn’t see her struggles or her strength as she went through treatment and still raised my siblings and I. Through the 3-Day, I have met so many strong survivors and fighters and I have been touched by so many stories.
My most recent reason is my 6-year-old family! 😉 I became involved with the youth corps in 2011, the inaugural year in Philly. Growing up without a mother, I immediately wanted to be involved with the youth corps to help support youth. Through the youth, we have developed a very close knit family. Since 2011, we have had 96 different yc members in Philadelphia. Growing up, we never talked about my mom’s cancer or death. I often felt alone in the grief of the loss. I never want any of these youths to feel alone. I keep in contact with every member. We have reunions and get-togethers every year. These youths and their families keep me coming back year after year. I have made bonds with the families, and have added more and more reasons to my list of fighters, survivors, and angels.
Of these 96 youth, 20 have walked AT LEAST 1 event, 7 have crewed including 5 that have served as leaders on the youth corps, and a handful that have come to camp to volunteer as camp angels.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
I have been very fortunate to have family and friends support me through donations over the past 11 years. Most of my most successful have been group fundraisers with the youth corps. We have held coin drops, beef and beers, set up tables at craft fairs, and most recently have helped to run a baseball invitational. My nephews are members of a travel team in Towamencin, PA. The Towamencin Travel Baseball teams host a breast cancer invitational to raise money for the cause. Over the past few years, the youth corps has been very fortunate to help at the event by gathering raffle baskets before the event and by selling raffle tickets, 50/50 tickets, and merchandise at the event.
As a team, we surpassed the $150,000-mark last year. The youth corps has been very creative with their fundraising. They have organized triathlons, bike races, dance classes, self-defense classes, and in school fundraisers.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Before event: Train. Train. Then train some more. (I have not trained for any of my walks. I said I was going to and have advised other too, but “I’m a runner so I don’t have to.” Haha… Quickly did I learn that running and walking are not the same thing at all!)
On event: Have fun! You have already done the hard part. You have already raised over $2300…. This weekend is a celebration! Make lots of connections with others. Talk to them – tell them your story and ask for their story. Don’t hurt yourself trying to do all 60 if your body needs a break. Crossing the finish line on Day 3 is amazing – so pace yourself and enjoy the weekend! You need to be able to walk and function at work on Monday.
After event: 1- Sign up again! J 2- Keep in touch with those you connected with. We are all family!
What’s a fun fact about you?
It may come as a surprise, but I am a demi-god molded from clay and given life by Zeus. That’s right, I am WONDER WOMAN!
Okay… so maybe I’m not Wonder Woman but I do like to think I have boundless energy and am able to save the world.
All of my favorite ‘jobs’ involve children. Aside from my day job of inspiring and teaching middle schoolers in Philly or past jobs of social work or nannying, I constantly surround myself with children. I am the proud aunt of 7 nephews and 3 nieces (2 of whom live in Hawaii). You can often find me cheering them on while they play various sports, building LEGOs, or acting like a kid on some crazy adventure.
My newest amazing adventures have come at the hands of a smart and silly 4-year-old. I have been very lucky to have found a new ‘job’ in helping the love of my life raise his beautiful daughter. (Yes, I now know every word to every song in Moana…)
It’s no wonder that I jumped at the opportunity to captain the youth corps in 2011! So, maybe I’m not Wonder Woman, but I think spending my time with all the kids in my life make my life even more special than being a demi-god.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
Not to be afraid to open. Not to be afraid to accept help (I’m still not good at number at this!), and – We are family!
Open up: I have met so many amazing people of the years that I have come to know as family. I am one to want to help others and to hear other’s stories. I have learned to open up more and have enjoyed talking about my mother and my initial reason for doing the 3-Day.
Accept help: I am still learning. As a walker, in both Philly and Michigan, the lovely crew have made sure that I care for myself even when I have been trying to help others. J As YC Captain, I luckily have amazing leaders (and youth) on my team that have made sure I take care of myself on event.
We are family: I have met some amazing people over the years. Life is not always a straight path that can be planned for. It is often winding with crazy ups and downs, and some plateaus in between. We are a family. These amazing people you have met will be there for you through the good and bad, and you will be there for them.
On behalf of all of us walking, crewing, and supporting the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, thank you Steph. We can’t wait to see all your pink 3-Day spirit on future events!
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to make sure to recognize all the men, whether they are fathers or not, who make up our 3-Day family. One such amazing guy is Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain, husband, father and all-around super 3-Dayer.
When Ian began dating his now-wife Missy in 2005, she was already a 3-Day walker, and she brought him into the 3-Day family. Year by year, Ian became even more involved.
“After a few years of being the Day 1 chauffeur, I joked with Missy that the only way I’d seriously consider participating was if I could ride my motorcycle on the event as a crew member. She didn’t miss a beat when she told me that the safety crew had bicycles and motorcycles on it. I knew that she was always excited leading up to the event, and had nothing but good things to say about it after, so I had no choice but to try to get on the route safety crew.”
After Ian joined the safety crew, the whole family started getting involved, beginning with their oldest son Gaven and now including their daughter Alex, both of whom are in the Youth Corps.
“I think it’s fantastic that the event is accessible to all ages, and we can include our kids in something that is bigger than us, and bigger than our family. It has been a good lesson for them that working for the greater good, and giving of themselves in service to others, is incredibly rewarding. I think too, that it has gone a long way for us to have something shared amongst our family, something that will continue to bring us together year after year, no matter how old the kids get.”
Whether they are walking or volunteering or crewing, Ian and his family know the true value of the 3-Day crew, and want others to join them this year!
“As a longtime crew member, I can say that volunteering your time on the crew is vital to the success and atmosphere of the event. Having crew members smiling, and cheering, and being there to support the walkers when they’re tired, and their feet hurt, and they’re hot, it just makes their day. We’re there to support the walkers on their journey and let them know that they’re appreciated, and we support what they’re doing. The can-do attitude of the crew makes the hard work not so hard, and even fun.”
If you want to walk those 60 miles though, the Glenn family won’t be the only ones cheering you on. Ian says that no one should be nervous about starting their 3-Day walking journey.
“I think making the leap as a walker is scary, but incredibly rewarding. There are lots of resources in your participant center on training, and packing, and general help. If you reach out on social media, you won’t find a more caring, supportive group of people to meet and go on training walks, or fundraising tips, or even shoe recommendations.”
That support and community have extended beyond the online community and into their lives.
“Many of our longtime friends we’ve met on the 3-Day and continue to have contact with them all the time. It’s a physical and mental challenge, there’s no doubt, but with the right support, a new walker can do it, and have a great time too.”
It’s more than just fun and family for Ian. Though his three days and many miles of service are an investment, he does them gladly, to make a difference for his family and beyond.
“It’s a satisfied feeling that is hard to put into words. After the long weekend, and the work is over, I find myself renewed every year, and I am reminded that despite everything that is going on in the world, there are lots of great people who care about big causes, and have committed to support them any way they can.
The walkers and other crew give me way more every year than I feel I give back, but I think the feeling is mutual, and that’s why I keep coming back.”
Don’t count the Glenn family out of their involvement anytime soon either! There are more Glenns to come as 3-Day volunteers and walkers.
“Our almost 9-year-old is practically counting the days until he can apply for Youth Corps. It’s rewarding to see that enthusiasm from all our kids for something that doesn’t directly benefit them.”