If walkers are the “soul” of the 3-Day, the extraordinary 3-Day Crew can best be described as the heart! They arrive the day before the event to decorate sweep vans, mark the route and commit to their 3-Day pledge to care for those of us who have the easy job of walking 60 miles over 3 days!
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I had my annual exam for the disease that affects one in eight women in her lifetime. Yesterday, I opened the follow-up letter from the radiologist that exclaimed, “We found no sign of breast cancer.” I consider myself fortunate, yet I will not let down my guard against this beast.
Twin Cities 3-Day walker and breast cancer survivor, Army Sgt. Cassie Mecuk is a hero, not only for her service to her country, but to her family and friends who have supported her since her first breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 24. Cassie, who is fighting breast cancer for the third time since 2009, is a member of Cassie’s Cups, a Twin Cities 3-Day team. She was recently featured in “The Pink Tank Project,” the Minnesota National Guard’s initiative to raise breast cancer awareness among Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, as well as the general public.
When Tina McDonough was asked to walk in the 2007 Seattle 3-Day with three friends in honor of her friend Michelle, who was living with breast cancer, she couldn’t refuse. She remembers vividly how she felt physically while walking those 60 miles. “I had not trained enough, and was hurting – bad!” Tina confessed. That, she thought, would be her first – and last – 3-Day walk.
When Michelle lost her fight against cancer just two months later, Tina was no longer deterred by her memories of the physical discomfort of her first walk. “I watched Michelle’s 12-year-old daughter and her husband fall apart,” said Tina. “Attending her funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew I had to do something, so I started a team to walk in her memory. I figured training and fundraising as a group would make it easier.” So her team, Valley Girls and Guys, was born.