The Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony as the sun started to rise on a perfect, Southern fall day. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Mona Dillard – My Family

I began walking in the Komen 3-Day seven years ago because of Debbie and Gwen, my older sisters. Debbie passed away in 2004, after a 17-year breast cancer battle; she was 51. Then in 2010, Gwen received her diagnosis on her 59th birthday. It was at that moment that I knew I needed to do more. So I registered for my first 3-Day. Today, Gwen is a 7-year survivor, and she has walked the Atlanta 3-Day with me five times. This event has been a family affair and I could not do it without their support. I’m Mona and I am More Than Pink.

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Alicia Batchelor – My Friend 

I walk for my friend, Kathy, who has been battling triple negative breast cancer and has endured a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and is currently participating in an immunotherapy clinical trial. I walk so that Kathy can continue to celebrate her young daughters’ birthdays and watch them experience the beauty of falling in love. And I walk so that all our friends and daughters can live in a world without breast cancer. I’m Alicia and I am More Than Pink.

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Krystle Murray – My Mom

I walk in celebration of my mom, Michele Murray, who lost her battle with breast cancer just over three years ago, at the age of 56. My family and friends, some of whom did not know my mom, join us on the walk―to toast her life, her experiences, and our memories together. No matter how busy our lives get, we come back to the 3-Day to grieve, to reflect, and to be inspired. I’m Krystle and I am More Than Pink.

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Marsha Williams – My Children
I started walking in 2005, shortly after my mother-in-law underwent a double mastectomy. My children were 2, 5, and 7 at the time. Now they are 15, 18 and 20. Haley and Sarah have walked and crewed many times over the last few years, but this is Garrett’s first year on the Youth Corps. And my fiancé is on the Moto Crew for the second time. My children are now old enough to decide to be a part of this experience on their own, and they have made the decision to keep returning with me. I’m Marsha and I am More Than Pink.

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Wade Eckman – My Wife

My beautiful wife, Kristina, passed from breast cancer this May after a courageous three-and-a-half-year battle. I am here with family―including her parents and siblings―and we are walking to honor her and to raise money to help find a cure so that other families do not have to lose their loved ones to this disease. I’m Wade and I am More Than Pink.

 

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Riley Weston – My Sister

I wish I didn’t have to walk. I wish there was no reason for me―or for any of us―to walk. I wish that instead, for these three days, we could simply celebrate the cures for breast cancer. But even more than that, I wish for my sissy to still be here. So, I walk. I’ll walk every year. I’ll raise as much money as I possibly can so that one day soon, there will be a cure. I’m Riley and I am More Than Pink.

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Jennifer Webb – Ceremony Host

I started walking the 3-Day after my mom and her sister were both diagnosed with breast cancer within one month of each other. I felt so helpless, and the 3-Day seemed like the biggest thing I could do at the time. I continue to walk because while my aunt is a thriving survivor, my mom lost her long and painful battle with breast cancer last September. My mom was my best friend in the world and I wasn’t done learning from her or making memories with her. My mom’s goal was to walk San Diego with me this November. Unfortunately, I will be walking without her, but I will walk FOR her, and I will continue to walk until there is a cure.

I’m Jennifer, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Atlanta 3-Day! As one of your fellow walkers, I’m excited to welcome you all to this beautiful city…

Atlanta Coaches’ 3-Day Highlights

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You already know coaches Karen, Libby and Susan from your Atlanta 3-Day team. They are the group who have been (im)patiently waiting for our walkers and crew to begin their 60-mile journey this weekend. And they will be welcoming everyone with open arms!

As you get your final preparations, training and packing done this week, they’re giving you more to get excited about. From favorite spots on the route, to their most prized memories, to their “must-visit” Atlanta spots, the coaches are sharing their personal 3-Day highlights.

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Coach Susan

Favorite memories of 3-Days past

Coach Susan: Walking in the pouring, freezing rain in Atlanta in 2008! Plus, working with Youth Corps for 2 years! And of course, all the laughing…so much laughing. More than the moments, it’s the community that I look at with gratitude and fondness. I’m grateful that I can be a part of something that brings out the best that humans have to offer.

Coach Libby: I have lots of favorites over the years but seeing friends and family connect with participants at the Closing Ceremony gets me every time.

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Coach Libby

Favorite parts of the 3-Day this year

Coach Karen: I am looking forward to reconnecting with walkers who I haven’t seen in a few years. It will be great to get a big hug and catch up! Then, on the route, I love Virginia Highland. I lived there when my kids were little and it is such a fun, diverse and creative place to live.

Coach Susan: I love the areas around Decatur and Emory on Day One, the beautiful Buckhead homes on Day Two, and I love the Vinings area on Day Three. I’m also looking forward to a new Closing Ceremony site along with a new Day Three route! Everyone, including 20-mile walkers will get to enjoy our all new Day 3 route this year! We’ll be walking through parts of Atlanta that we haven’t been through on the 3-Day before.

Coach Libby: This year we are walking through Vinings and I am excited to see what walkers think out such a cute area of Atlanta! I also love the new route and closing at SunTrust Park – Go Braves!

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Not-to-miss Atlanta spots

Coach Susan: I love the Atlanta Beltline! We are big baseball fans in our family, and the new stadium is great (Go Braves!). I love eating at some of the unique Atlanta places. Table & Main in Downtown Roswell is one of our favorites!

Coach Karen: I love to eat, and my favorites right now are Miller Union, The Optimist and Bacchanalia. For local favorites, I love Mac Magee in Roswell and Murphy’s in Virginia Highland.

What are looking forward to most on the Atlanta 3-Day? Tell us in the comments!

Meet Your Atlanta 3-Day Coaches

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The 3-Day is heading south to Atlanta this weekend, and we are ready for another sunny 60 miles with all our amazing 3-Day walkers and crew. Part of your Georgia welcoming committee will be your amazing Atlanta 3-Day Coaches: Karen Odell, Susan Wynne and Libby Riordan. These ladies have been preparing all year long to host another fantastic weekend for our 3-Dayers, so before you put on your tutus and lace up your walking shoes, we wanted to help you get to know them better.

The first thing you need to know about Libby, for example, is that she is “is rock solid, she knows her stuff and conveys a sense of confidence while being completely approachable and helpful.” That’s according to Coach Karen!

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Coach Libby (right)

If you ask Libby about herself, she will also let you know that she would choose Mexican food all day long, and that she listens to FloRida when she needs extra motivation on her training walks and other work outs. She has been involved with the 3-Day since 2005, when she applied for a job on our team one month after walking her first 3-Day.

“It’s been a long journey with a community that I am lucky to call family!”

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Coach Susan

Coach Susan joined the 3-Day family not long after Libby, walking her first 3-Day in 2007 in honor of one of her closest friends, whom she had lost to breast cancer. She still walks in other 3-Day cities to this day!

When she’s not 3-Daying, she is craving Mexican food and sushi, and listening to The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers. They might not seem like the traditional “pump up jams” to some, but she says they’re still her favorite to train to.

Coach Karen says Susan “makes our participants feel as if they’ve known her forever and she is a great resource for any question.”

Susan echoes that same love when talking about Coach Karen, saying, “Karen is so thoughtful and dedicated to making our participants have the best experience possible.”

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Coach Karen (center)

Karen says that is she could have one superpower it would be to have “the ability to always know the right path in life,” and if you want to make her dinner, make sure to bring the seafood! She loves halibut, scallops, lobster, mussels and more!

Through and through, these ladies are a fun and enthusiastic group who are anxiously waiting to welcome everyone to Atlanta next week!

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Coach Karen (left)

Karen describes their coaching team as “supportive, cohesive, and thoughtful,” and Susan says they all work their hardest to “connect with our participants and crew on such a personal level and truly care about our 3-Day family.”

Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend with these women?!