My Story – Gwen A. Shares Why She Commits to the 3-Day 

Hi, my name is Gwen and I want to share the reasons I’m walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in San Diego this November. 

My friend Linda formed a team to support her sister-in-law, Tracy, after she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She invited me and numerous other friends to join her. I said yes! 

I had been toying with the idea of either walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Denver or San Diego this year but hadn’t committed yet. Linda’s invitation helped me decide! 

I walked the AVON 39 breast cancer walk in September of 2016 in Santa Barbara. It was an incredible experience! I walked in honor of the many women in my family and life that have had breast cancer. My grandmother Veronica and my aunt Terrie were both diagnosed in their 30’s and lost their lives to breast cancer in their late 40’s. My aunt Patty, aunt Rosie, cousin Yvette and friends Marla and Lee are all survivors!  

I asked two friends to join me on the AVON 39 walk. We trained diligently and were able to meet our fundraising goals. We stayed in a hotel and ate dinner at fun restaurants. It was a wonderful weekend. But I was truly amazed at how life changing the actual walk was for me. I met so many wonderful people while walking mile after mile. I heard their stories of loss, love and hope. We walked on September 11th. It was such an inspiring place to be 15 years after such a tragic day in our country’s history. I was touched by how hundreds of strangers were brought together to give hope to those fighting breast cancer and to honor those who lost their battles. 

Two years after walking AVON 39 in 2016, my friend Carrie invited me and many of her friends to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Atlanta. I said yes, again. We trained and fundraised successfully. The experience was fabulous! We were a group of eight women, many whom had walked in previous Susan G. Komen 3-Days. Again, I was in awe of the people participating in the walk. I listened to my fellow walkers’ stories and became connected to these people whom I had just met. I was blown away by the support from volunteers and the people who cheered for us along the way. Another incredible experience! 

In 2019, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She completed all her treatment and is enjoying life as a soon-to-be survivor. In 2025 she will be an official survivor! 

In 2020, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The pet scan revealed a suspicious spot on my breast, and in 2021 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I, too, have completed my treatment. My mom and I both take daily medication to prevent recurrence. I am in remission and look forward to 2027 when I will be an official survivor! 

My multiple myeloma is also in remission but is not curable. Thankfully it is treatable, and I tolerate the monthly treatments well. 

I am walking for many reasons. First and foremost, to honor all the women I know who have battled this disease including myself. Although some have gone down, we are all warriors! Second, to raise funds for breast cancer awareness programs and research. Third, to connect with the other walkers and volunteers. The walk is a truly hopeful and joyful experience. 

As a past walker, I know the time, effort and diligence it takes to be successful. Starting now is the best way to achieve those goals. “A little progress everyday adds up to big results!” 

You can read more inspiring stories about members of the Pink Bubble on the 3-Day Blog.  

My Village: The Difference Between Surviving and Being a Survivor

By Emily H.

This is my version of Emeril’s ‟BAM!” I have never loved my kitchen more than I do now! It is wallpapered with cards from friends near and far who are supporting me along my breast cancer journey. It started with the first card I received that reads, ‟Today’s showers bring tomorrow’s blooms.” I taped it right above my kitchen sink, somewhere I visit often, so I would see it over and over again, reminding myself this is only a part of my story. As more and more cards came in the mail I wanted a way to keep all those positive thoughts front and center. Away it grew to my whole kitchen! Words do not do my feelings justice. I have always known I had good friends and family, but when I needed them the most, they all showed up. I am both thankful and very blessed to have a village this strong! It has truly been the difference between surviving and being a Survivor. 

Community by definition is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. To me, community is an evenly balanced group of people who share passion for the same thing. Our 3-Day community is made of all types of beings (men, women, children, and pets) who share one common goal: to spread the Pink Bubble love. We all come to the table with different goals, some want to raise money, some just want to find a cure, some need support, and some just like to walk. But all in all we are a group of people (a community) that wants the world to be a little more pink. My community support means so much that without it I would fail. I know that no matter what challenge I am faced with I can turn to that community and someone will rise to the occasion and help me succeed. 

My 3-Day journey began five years ago when I registered to walk in celebration of my mother-in-law, Lori, who had just fought her own battle with breast cancer. I quickly found a passion for FUN-raising and was able to arrive to camp a Top 10 fundraiser my first year. I fell in love with the ‟Pink Bubble” and all the people who make the 3-Day happen. There were so many stories, so many hugs, and so many reasons to keep coming back. I brought my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Heather, along with me for walk two and then a best friend, Rachelle, for year three. 2020 was our ‟year off” as I call it, and I was aiming high for 2021. I wanted to reach $20,000 in lifetime donations for my five-year anniversary. And I did!

But as 2021 began I was given a new challenge, being diagnosed with breast cancer myself. My diagnosis came as a huge shock as I do not hit very many risk factors. I am only 29, had all my kids young, breastfed all my babies, no family history, and am generally in good health. But as we all know cancer does not discriminate. One more reason to keep on walking. I look forward to being reunited with my ‟Pink Bubble” family in the future and know that my journey as a survivor is just beginning.

If I could only share one thing with the 3-Day family it would be don’t give up! Keep on fighting, fundraising, and spreading the Pink Bubble love. The past few years have been tough on everyone for different reasons. We all learned things and took the time to grow in personal ways. But overall as a society, I think we discovered we could all use a little work! So don’t give up and keep on fighting, for yourself, your mission, and anything and everything that brings you joy! You all bring me joy and I am so thankful. 

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

Next up in our “Word of the Year” series, meet Hal G. and learn in his own words why he chose perseverance.

I have participated in three events as part of the Medical Crew—Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019 as well as New England in 2019. I am registered to walk for the first time in San Diego 2021.

My experiences at the 3-Day events have been great. I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful people who have come together in support of people they know and don’t know. It’s about making the future brighter for friends and strangers alike…incredible people filled with hope finding a common mission of advancing breast cancer diagnosis, research, and treatment.

As part of the Medical Crew, I feel honored to be part of the 3-Day. My colleagues and I are dedicated to helping the participants finish what they started. I am at the event to help each individual achieve their own goal.

The days start early and end late as we have clinic before the route is open and afterwards into the evening. We provide medical care along the route with a team of incredible medical professionals and assistants. It is truly a well-coordinated team effort with each member doing their part to get each and every participant the care they need and to keep them safe.

My word of the year is Perseverance.

Perseverance is my word of the year as 2020 was a year filled with remarkable and unprecedented challenges. 

I participate in the 3-Day because of my girlfriend, Christine. We started dating in July 2014. Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer in December the following year. She and I never really talked about this again but as tears were streaming down her face in shock from her diagnosis she said to me, “This is more than you bargained for. If you want out of the relationship I understand”. I am still here. We are still here.

Christine had surgery and radiation treatment and now has ongoing medical management and surveillance. After recovering from the stress and fatigue of treatment, Christine set her sights on walking the 3-Day. It was a monumental milestone in her emotional and physical recovery.

Christine has now completed three events, two as a walker and one as crew. We will be walking in San Diego together.

In December 2020, Christine became a 5-year survivor.

The 3-Day family to me is a gathering of people coming together to combat a common adversary. It is a group of individuals magnifying their strengths exponentially as they join the Pink Bubble. It is a reminder that nobody has to fight alone…there are friends we know and friends we haven’t met yet that are working together to improve lives today and for future generations.

My word of the year, Perseverance, embodies much of the 3-Day experience. Perseverance is about overcoming an obstacle. It’s defined as weathering a storm or difficult situation in life with strong determination. I have seen and treated many in the Medical tent and base camp who display a singlemindedness toward achievement. Also, perseverance can last for a lifetime.

The message I would like to share with the Pink Bubble is that you matter. You are important. What you do helps others. In this time of extraordinary challenges look for the good. The Pink Bubble is part of the good, and the Pink Bubble is not the same without you.

One thing that surprised me about volunteering for the 3-Day is that in helping others an unexpected side effect was that I helped myself. I didn’t see that coming. 

Thank you, Hal. As we move through 2021, we’re honored by the perseverance we see you and the Pink Bubble family show as we overcome obstacles together.

Other Word of the Year Blog Posts

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

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

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