Congratulations to the 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Cynthia Geye

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Cynthia Geye. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Cynthia with this special honor.

Before she left home for the 3-Day this year, we talked to Cynthia about what the 3-Day means to her. She is walking this year with her granddaughter Callie Powers, and walking for Jen, Callie’s mom and Cindy’s daughter. When Callie was born, Cindy had just completed treatment and she told the family that Callie would be her reason to live and keep fighting. Now, Callie is walking with Cindy for the first time, in Jen’s honor.

Jen says that Cindy is “a very positive person, always looking on the bright side, laughing and is totally goofy. She has made this walk her passion and will not stop until we eradicate this disease.”

We are honored to share Cindy’s story, in her own words, below…

Back in 2005, one year after surviving 3 bouts of metastatic breast cancer, my oldest daughter suggested, no, she insisted that we do something big in the fight against breast cancer. She had seen an ad for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer walks. She used every coercive method she could to convince me to walk. I, of course, came up with every imaginable excuse as to why I should NOT walk. But, walk we did (even convinced my younger daughter to join us).

Since then, I have walked every year and every city multiple times. Sometimes with my daughters and many times as a solo walker. This year, I am walking with my granddaughter. This is my 27th walk and each walk is so memorable. With every walk, I meet new friends. We share our stories, our tears, our hopes for the future. We laugh, we cry, and we support one another. Each walk is 3 days full of kindness, caring and commitment.

When I first started walking, there was a song titled “Why We Walk.” The refrain says it all: “We walk to remember. We walk to celebrate…. For those who are gone and those who live on. We honor them all and that’s why we walk.”

You see, God has given me amazing health these last 20+ years and I can use it to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The blisters, aches and pains are nothing compared to what every cancer patient goes through when we are battling this disease.

As I am a fast walker, I have been told many times that it is not how fast you walk, but, rather, enjoying the 3-Day journey. This is about all the people, not just the walkers.

It’s all the people that come out to cheer us on. The bald women with their signs that say “Thank you. You’re walking for me.”  To know that we are helping them have a second chance at life. Every survivor, no matter where they live, deserve the best possible care.

It’s about the little girls holding their signs that say, “Please find a cure before I grow up.”  To have the color pink be more than the symbol for breast cancer, but rather the color for hair ribbons and prom dresses.

This is not about what you endure while walking – the blisters, aches and pains – it is so much more.  It is what you walk away with – the memories that will last a lifetime.  While my own cancer journey was very scary, not knowing if I would survive, it has ended up as a true gift.  It has brought me many blessings, a deeper faith and a richer perspective on life.  It has brought me to the 3-Day.

2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Route Preview

The Twin Cities 3-Day is coming up next weekend, and as you get ready for the event, we have a preview of what to expect! For those who are familiar with the route, you will see a lot of our favorite sights of the Twin Cities. However, we made some big changes that we are thrilled to share, including our new hotel camp and an extra special Closing Ceremony location! Read on for more excitement from Event Production Manager Eileen Barnick.

Our 3-Day experience this year will begin at the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall. This will be our hotel camp, and the location of our Opening Ceremony. It’s a beautiful large hotel, and we have all the fourth-floor event space so there will be tons of room for our walkers as well as any spectators. The Opening Ceremony will be very emotional and a wonderful start to our weekend.

Eileen says that this hotel is a perfect home for the weekend because it is in “a really trendy and fun area of downtown Minneapolis. This area was under construction for a while, so we were able to walk through there for the first-time last year. And now we’re staying right in the middle of it! It’s closed to vehicle traffic, and there are lots of cool shops and restaurants right nearby.”

We will leave the Opening Ceremony via an escalator and then head out onto Nicollet Mall. It will make for some great photos to celebrate the start of your 60-mile journey.

From there, walkers will make their way along Loring Greenway, which is a beautiful park walkway that leads us over the pedestrian bridge and into Loring Park and finally into the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Eileen notes that these sights are usually at the end of the day on Friday, so we are excited to start our journey this way now.

Overall, Eileen says that “this Day One route is our best and my most favorite Day One route yet. It has everything in it! You’ll get a great feel for downtown Minneapolis without having to deal with too much traffic and craziness, plus you also will experience the natural beauty of Minnesota.”

After walkers journey through a few more tourist sights, we will then head to the Chain of Lakes. You’ll see Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet and other breathtaking sights.

Eileen thinks this balance is what makes the Twin Cities walk so unique!

“It’s crazy that these lakes and parks are so close to the city, so you can still get that balanced experience as you walk.”

After Chain of Lakes, we will travel along Lake Minehaha Boulevard, an older part of the city with phenomenal houses and photo opportunities.

But Eileen’s favorite part of the route is after lunch, when 3-Dayers go to Minnehaha Regional Park and Minnehaha Falls, which is a 50+ foot waterfall.

Eileen enthuses, “It’s this stunning waterfall in the middle of the city, and we have not walked there before to my knowledge. So, this will be a whole new experience for the people who have been walking with us for a while!”

After that, we will walk on a trail along the Mississippi River and head back into the city section of Minneapolis. We’ll pass U.S. Bank Stadium where the Vikings play, which will be a great treat for football fans. There’s even a Viking ship you can take photos in!

In the final steps of Day One, we’ll walk through Nicollet Mall and there will be an art fest going on at the mall that weekend, too! You can for sure see it on Friday evening, as we will walk directly through the art fest on your way back into camp after Day One. There will be lots of fun photo opportunities!

But Eileen wants to make sure that everyone is back at camp in time for games and fun activities at the end of the evening! She and the Twin Cities team are so excited about the updates to both Friday and Saturday night at camp and can’t wait to bring everyone into that experience.

Day Two will have walkers leaving Minneapolis to some of our favorite suburbs and smaller cities in the Twin Cities area. That includes White Bear Lake, which everyone loved last year. The community is so excited to host the 3-Day again, and after all the great feedback from walkers last year, we knew we had to come back.

We’ll also be returning to Little Canada, where the community is ready to greet us! The fire department there is already planning fun ways to support our walkers as they continue their journey.

We will have lunch in Central Park in Roseville, which will be nice and relaxing. We’re going back to our favorite places that have supported us in the past. It is a little longer route on Saturday, but Eileen promises it will be lots of fun and well worth it when you make it home to the hotel! Don’t miss our special new Honor Ceremony on Saturday evening, which will take place in the dining area as soon as the last walker arrives.

Before you know it, we’ll be taking on Day Three and coming to the end of our 60-mile journey!

Sunday will start with a walk from Minneapolis and over the Stone Arch Bridge, which goes over the Mississippi River. From there we will walk through the University of Minneapolis area to head towards St. Paul.

In St. Paul, there will be amazing historic houses, plus we will be walking past the St. Paul Zoo. The zoo is free, and though we won’t be walking through the zoo, it is a great place to visit while you’re in the city.

From there, we have a beautiful route into lunch at the Como Regional Park Baseball Pavilions. After lunch, we will spend more time in St. Paul, including a walk down historic Summit Avenue. We will be passing the Governor’s Mansion on that stretch of the walk!

We will pass the St. Paul Cathedral and look down at the Capitol as we walk towards our finish line. It’s a really pretty day of walking that ends with so many historic views!

“It’s all in the city for Day Three through beautiful neighborhoods that give a really good taste of St. Paul,” Eileen says.

That includes ending our 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day at The Capitol Building (back by popular demand) in St. Paul. Participants have been asking for this for years, so Eileen and our team are so happy to bring it back!

“Nature. Tourist attractions. The city. There is something for everyone!” Eileen promises.

We can hardly wait! 🙂

2019 Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day Wrap-Up

Our first 3-Day of 2019 was one we’ll remember for a long time to come! From the sunshine, to the comfort of our new hotel camp, to the many memories that our Michigan 3-Dayers made over the course of the weekend. The community support was unparalleled, the Youth Corps sprinkled their magic throughout the journey, and our Crew provided support and expertise every step of the way. To say we’re going to look back on this weekend with a smile is quite an understatement.

And it all started with our updated Opening Ceremony on Friday morning! We gathered inside one of our host hotels and highlighted several people in the Michigan community who have committed so much of their heart and soul to Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal over the years. We also recognized survivors and those who live with metastatic breast cancer. These strong women and men led our walkers out of the hall and into the sun, kicking off our Michigan 3-Day in style.

The walk began through our new 3-Day pink tunnel of fun, sponsored by Amgen, and out onto the sidewalks and trails of Novi. Walkers were greeted at pit stop 1 by the much-loved BOOBees and even got Panera bagels for the perfect kick-off to their journey. From there, they passed by our first local cheering station and headed to pit stop 2 at Meadowbrook Elementary School. Cheerleaders, grahamwiches and some very important stretching carried them through to lunch at the 11.8 mile mark.

Lunch was back at Meadowbrook Elementary, and walkers relaxed in the shade (Thank you, Mohawk, for those cool new shade tents!) before tackling the second half of their day in Novi. The Novi Senior Center at pit stop 3 was a high point of the afternoon, as walkers loved the support and cheering from the local seniors. A quick stop in Rotary Park ended the day, and then our last walker returned to the hotel to raise our 3-Day flag and complete Day One.

We celebrated those first 19.5 miles with a new game of 3-Day bingo and practiced the dance our participants would break out at lunch at the Halfway Point. Then it was time for some much-needed sleep (and showers!) to rest up for Day Two.

Saturday dawned bright and beautiful with our Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we honored our top Michigan fundraisers and teams (including two new awards: the “Small But Mighty Team” Award and “Rookie of the Year” Award), as well as our Michigan Milestone and Local Impact winner. We were so happy to celebrate their contributions!

From there, walkers headed through Northville, spending time in local parks and on shady trails. Once they arrived in Plymouth, the energy hit a peak thanks to the amazing community cheering station at Kellogg Park…complete with the pink fountain! Our walkers stretched out in the grass, danced under the sun and soaked in all the excitement of Plymouth.

That enthusiasm continued into lunch, where we had a special new halfway celebration! Photo ops, flash dance mobs, and all kinds of goodies made this lunch extra special. We were halfway to 60 miles, after all!

After lunch, walkers trekked through Northville and back into Novi before ending back home at our hotel camp. Those Bank of America massage chairs and the famous 3-Day mac and cheese were waiting to welcome them! After our last walkers came safely back home, we had a special evening Honor Ceremony, where we heard some beautiful, moving stories from local Michigan participants and the Youth Corps about why they have chosen to commit 3 days, and how Susan G. Komen has affected their lives. Before the night concluded, we invited all participants to leave a memory in our Honor Garden, and to visit the Remembrance room. It was a solemn but inspiring reminder of how much of a difference everyone makes by being a part of the 3-Day. We are excited to bring this emotional, inspiring experience to all seven cities this year.

Sunday, our final day in Michigan, began with a quick bus ride into Livonia, where our walkers started their final day of walking. That walk included stepping through Livonia, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, along with a stop at the picturesque and shady York Park for lunch. Our 3-Day Crew pulled out all the stops for the final day of walking, from the “Eat, Sleep, Cure. We are here to Serve.” camp services team, to our out of this world Crew at pit stop 3 and beyond. The day ended, as it has in the past few years, at the Ford World Headquarters.

Walkers passed underneath the Amgen pink tunnel and across the finish line, hands held, and smiles turned up to the sunshine. For hours, there were almost 50 volunteers from our presenting sponsor, Bank of America, there to cheer our walkers in as they conquered 60 miles in unity and strength. Our last walker arrived home and raised the flag to help us kick off our new Closing Ceremony in style. With our last walker starting our celebration, our survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer led the rest of our Michigan family into the Closing Ceremony. We celebrated all that we have accomplished in Michigan, thanked those who helped us along the way, and acknowledged the great deeds done over the last 3 days. The 2019 Michigan 3-Day raised $1.2 million in the fight against breast cancer!

Our weekend ended with a dance party in the afternoon sun, and many hugs and smiles shared with all our 400 walkers and 200 crew. Our first 3-Day of 2019 is complete, but we have so much more work to do! Twin Cities, we will see you soon…