Meet Team Princess Warriors from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day

African American women in the U.S. are often diagnosed younger and with more aggressive breast cancer than their white counterparts. They are also often diagnosed at later stages when treatments are limited, costly and the prognosis is poor. And they die from breast cancer nearly 40% more than Caucasian women. These facts are staggering, and Susan G. Komen is working daily to reduce disparities to achieve breast health equity.

We are not doing this work alone. We are supported by 3-Dayers like those on Team Princess Warriors from Dallas/ Fort Worth. Sylvia, Yolanda and Felecia have collectively walked in the 3-Day for more than twenty years combined, participating in 3-Days across the country. They are best known in Dallas/Fort Worth and will also be joining us in Chicago this year, but their dedication extends far beyond the bounds of the 3-Day weekend.

They are breast cancer health advocates all year long. They take any opportunity they can to “educate women, especially women of color, and make them aware of how this disease affects African American women.” We are honored to have them in our 3-Day family and are so proud to share their story. Read on for more of their expertise and inspirational stories.

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What keeps you coming back to the 3-Day again and again?

Sylvia’s mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 46 years old. Unfortunately, she passed away from the horrible disease at only 48 years old. Her paternal great grandmother, paternal grandmother, and three of her dad’s sisters have all been diagnosed with breast cancer as well. That’s not to mention that three of her husband’s aunts, two of his cousins and their sister-in-law are also breast cancer survivors.

Yolanda and Felecia both have friends who have been diagnosed and are currently fighting this disease as well as loved ones who have succumbed to breast cancer.

What are some of your top 3-Day memories from past years?

Our favorite memory was standing in line to take pictures after Day 1 during our second year. We were standing behind John and Lisa Shiner. I immediately recognized him because he was one of the inspirational speakers at camp during Sylvia’s first year walking. His wife and my mom who passed from breast cancer were both named Martha. We laughed and cried and hugged and cried some more. His wife Lisa is such a sweetheart.

After talking with them, they invited us to walk with them the next year in Twin Cities, so we did! We walked together all three days and they invited us over to their beautiful home for dinner. This was just the beginning of our friendship, and we have made so many more like it over the years. 

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What are your top training tips for first-time walkers?

  • Make sure you invest in good socks and shoes.
  • Make sure you wear all clothing before the event to see how everything works for you.
  • Remember, this is a walk not a race.
  • Take time to enjoy the scenery and the wonderful people around you each day on the 3-Day. Listen to their stories, learn more about them, and enjoy each and every minute with your new group of forever friends.
  • Train, train, and TRAIN before the 3-Day.
  • Hydrate and take advantage of the pit stops and lunch.

As a tight team unit, what is your advice to help pass the time on training walks?

We talk about times in the Army. It’s bittersweet reminiscing about friends who have gone on before us and we always talk about the effort to get rid of this disease that impacts so many across all walks of life.

We all love music in general. If we had to pick a favorite song, it would be “Roar” by Katy Perry. The lyrics are suited for any fight you may be going through. Those diagnosed and fighting breast cancer, along with their family and friends, truly get knocked down sometimes, but dust themselves off and keep fighting. It shows the strength and willpower of those going through this journey and those left carrying the torch for family and friends we’ve lost to this disease.

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What does the word “commitment” mean to you?

Commitment is something that we have lived our entire adult lives honoring. We all made commitments collectively, over a combined 78 years, supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States by serving actively in the US Army. It’s definitely something we do not take lightly. 

We have also made a commitment because of our drive and compassion for those who have been affected and are battling breast cancer. As a team, we dedicate our time and resources to a part of something so much greater than ourselves. Although we try to touch many with our cause, even if we only touch a few, it’s worth it.

Especially given how breast cancer impacts the African American community, why is the 3-Day so important?

Understanding that African American women die from breast cancer nearly 40% more than Caucasian women is alarming. Early detection is key. The 3-Day is SO important to us because it gives us another opportunity to educate women, especially women of color, and make them aware of how this disease affects African American women. Speaking from experience, it’s both unfortunate and also a kind of blessing that you’re made aware of this disease when someone you love has been diagnosed. But often it’s too late to fight it.

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We try to do our part and continue to make others aware that breast care is truly important to their health. We are often stopped during the walks and asked, “Why so much pink?” We love it. It gives us another chance to provide information to someone who may be uninformed.

How do you live the 3-Day spirit and spread the word all year long?

We are truly walking billboards for breast cancer awareness. We are not only sporting our pink gear during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but all throughout the year. We always reach out to those we encounter, making them aware of our 60-mile journey to save lives. Sylvia hosts events at her home throughout the year and works with the local school to ensure information is provided to the staff during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Walking 60 miles is an accomplishment; we try to use every opportunity to not only fundraise but educate those we meet daily.

What are you most excited about for 2020?

We are always excited about the opportunity to walk 60 miles in 3 days together. It gives our team another chance to spread breast cancer awareness and spend quality time together. We are excited about being in the city of Chicago this year as well! This is always a great opportunity to meet new people, be a part of their trials and triumphs, and provide words of encouragement to those who have gone through this ordeal or for loved ones currently going through it.

Join Team Princess Warriors at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day by registering to join us in 2020 NOW! You can also find more information on how breast cancer affects the African American community, and what Susan G. Komen is doing to help, on our website.

3-Day Preparation You Can Do Right NOW

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The 3-Day might seem like a long way away. After all, the New England 3-Day isn’t until August and the San Diego 3-Day isn’t until November! Time does fly though, and we know that all of you are busy busy bees. Your 3-Day weekend will be here before you know it, so let’s make the most of every day! Even now, there is so much you can be doing to prepare for your 60-mile journey. Let’s get started!

Sign up!

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it never hurts to remind everyone! The sooner you sign up for the 3-Day, the sooner you can put all your other plans into motion. Registering is your first step towards an amazing 60-mile journey that will take you further than any other in the fight against breast cancer. Commit 3 days in 2020. This is the perfect time to sign up because we extended our Early Bird Discount until February 7! Take $20 off your 2020 3-Day registration — no code needed — and join us in the fight against breast cancer. Let’s go!

Reach out to your coaches

After you sign up, your immediate first step should be reaching out to your 3-Day coach. She is the ultimate resource for everything you could ever want to know about the 3-Day. The coaches are available by phone, email or even Facebook, and they will be just who you need to make sure you start your 3-Day journey on the right foot.

Meet them on Facebook to get started:

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Start fundraising

There are so many ways to fundraise for the 3-Day so starting early just gives you time to try them all! Start by using our resources and links to set you up for success, then challenge yourself to complete all 101 of these exciting fundraising ideas!

You can also check our blog posts for more fundraising ideas. These are some of our favorites:

Make your training plan

We have both 24-week and 16-week training plans that will help you pace out your training so that you can start slow and manage your steps. These plans can be printed out or found on our training app. You can also chat with your coach to customize these plans to you specifically!

We will also post local training walks and other events on our website. Get together with your fellow 3-Dayers to start moving and making progress towards your training goals NOW so that you’ll be fully prepared come this summer or fall.

Talk it up

Though you will never be alone on the 3-Day, the more friends and family you can bring along with you…the more fun you’ll have! Invite your pals on a training walk or to an info meeting to bring them into the 3-Day. They might not sign up right away, but don’t worry, you have time! Remember? 😉

Make your plans and take your steps now! The 3-Day will be here soon after all.

Winter Training Tips from Training Walk Leaders

Tomorrow marks the official start of winter, and while that means that the holidays are coming closer (yay!), it also means the weather is bound to get colder if it hasn’t already. But how can you keep up with your training, even in the winter? Don’t worry! There are ways to train safely and effectively, even in chilly temps.

We decided to go straight to the experts for the latest and greatest tips for winter walking. Some of our training walk leaders pitched in and shared their knowledge to help you make the most of these next few months. These are their no-fail tips.

Susan C. from Michigan

During winter months when weather is bad, my team (the Hines Pink Pathers) will walk in one of our local malls or at The Henry Ford Museum as a team. Many individuals will also walk on the track or a treadmill at a local gym. I am fortunate to have one in my home so I will walk on the ‟Dreadmill” while watching a movie to make the time go by.

Michelle B. from Dallas/Fort Worth

For a fun way to get people involved, every year we have a Christmas walk and invite all the 3-Dayers we know and potential 3-Dayers, too.

Kate P. from New England

Layers, layers, layers. Depending on how cold it is, I recommend a base layer with fleece pants on the bottom and a wicking base layer, fleece jacket of some sort and a windbreaker on top. A hat and mittens/gloves and (something I definitely need) a fleece cuff so I can wipe my runny nose. I don’t mind going out in the cold, but for those who do, we meet at the local mall before the stores open to walk laps and window shop.

Mary T. from Dallas/Fort Worth

I have a 40-degree rule for walking. When we are not in “official” training season, I only walk when the temperature is 40 or above. No need to walk in really cold weather! Of course, in summer the weather also plays a role. The temperature should be less than 90/95 for me to take on a long-distance walk during that season.

Jeryl V. from Michigan

Dress in layers. My go-to is always wool socks! Feet stay nice and toasty in wool socks.

(at left with Coach Gayla)

Coach Liz

I’ve planned plenty of training walks, so I have lots of tips! But an easy one is to dress in layers you can take off. You never know if you might heat up as you walk! And, even though it is cold you still need to HYDRATE. It keeps the blood flowing! Lastly, if it’s really cold or wet, walking in the mall or a local gym is a great option. Safety first!

For more tips on training in cold weather, you can check out our blog post from last year, and get inspiration from our winter walking playlist!

What are your winter walking tips? Tell us in the comments to spread the knowledge and inspiration!