Congratulations to the 2022 New England 3-Day Milestone Award Winner!

We’d like to congratulate Kathy D. on being our 2022 New England 3-Day Milestone Award Winner! Kathy has participated in 31 3-Days over the last 17 years and has raised almost $150,000 to date. We asked Kathy about her 3-Day experience and asked some of her friends to provide a brief testimonial to her greatness. 

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day? 

Truthfully, I thought I might lose a few pounds—until I discovered it was the 3-Day buffet. I was also walking for the first person our family lost to breast cancer, my Aunt Carol, my godfather’s wife. She was in her 50’s. 

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year? 

Those 3-Day family members who continue raising HUGE amounts, year after year… it reminds me I’m not alone in my crusade to find the cures. 

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success? 

I don’t believe I’m asking for money; I’m asking people to help us do something BIG—finding the cures for breast cancer, and eventually, all cancers. I believe in fundraising year-round, which helps bring in big totals each year.  

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day? 

Take your time, soak in every step, every mile. Try every snack and try to meet as many people as possible. Share your story, listen as others share theirs, and then come back next year with even bigger goals—more teammates, more prepared and help another new walker.  

What’s a fun fact about you? 

Tom Brady knows my first name. I also had the privilege of being friends (and driver for) Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer—yes, the guy from Austin Powers.  

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day? 

I’ve learned to keep my eye on the prize — the CURES. It’s never been about one person for me, it’s always been about finding the cures so that nobody EVER has to lose a loved one again. 

Testimonials From Friends 

“Kathy is one of the most welcoming people that I have ever met! She offers her genuine friendship to everyone she comes in contact with! Kathy is literally everyone’s best buddy!” —Carol P. 

“Kathy is the kindest person in the world. I’m proud she’s my captain! She’s so supportive of the team! She’s my ‘penguin sister’!” ─ Kim K. 

“Kathy DiRusso is the quintessential captain—part coach, part priest, part mental health counselor, part sister, and part cheerleader. She juggles these roles well. Inspires all to keep on raising money.” —Dorie C. 

“Kathy has been steadfast in her ability to not only fundraise but to inspire and energize others to join in the fight against breast cancer. She will leave no stone unturned until the cures are found. Her passion is unmatched, and her advocacy has touched the lives of more people than she will ever know. I am also proud to call her my friend.” —Leominster, MA Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella 

Stay tuned throughout the rest of the 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series for our other Milestone Award Winners! 

Congratulations to the 2022 New England Crew Impact Award Winner 

Over the last 15 years, Alison G. has participated in 25 3-Day events! With over $64,000 raised towards the fight against breast cancer, we honor Alison as the 2022 New England 3-Day Crew Impact Award winner. We asked Alison what the 3-Day means to her, and we also received testimonials from her friends about why she deserves this award. 

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?  

The inspiration to do my first 3-Day came all the way back in 2005 when I was a sophomore in college and looking for a cause to dedicate some time toward and help fundraise. There was a presentation from a local rep at one of the sorority houses about the 3-Day, and I was hooked. I signed up for my first event that night and have signed up for 29 more since then!   

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year? 

The community has brought me back. The 3-Day is my second family, and what an incredible group of men and women, all fighting to end breast cancer. The 3-Day is no small task, and people walk, fundraise and crew like it’s a part of them. And that’s what truly makes it special and unlike any other event.   

What is your favorite aspect of crewing the 3-Day? 

I prefer being more of a behind-the-scenes person and thanking the walkers that have done all the training, prep and fundraising. I get to wear wacky costumes, and make people smile. That’s my main goal at the end of the day.   

What is your best advice to anyone crewing the 3-Day? 

Be flexible! Things can always change. I’ve crewed in weather ranging from rain and sleet to temperatures ranging from 35-105. Everything may not always go as planned, but it will all work out how it’s supposed to, and you can still be proud of the hard work you’ve put in all weekend.   

What’s a fun fact about you? 

My husband and I met at space camp…as adults (we’re nerds). We just got married last May and had a subtle space/star theme to our wedding.   

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day? 

The most important lessons I’ve learned on the 3-Day are flexibility and planning for any scenario. Always have the tools you need to pivot to make the best out of what you’ve got. It’s key in day-to-day life, too, and something I carry with me.  

Friend Testimonials 

“I first met Alison when she was lunch captain for the Michigan 3-Day in 2015. The minute you meet her, you know that it’s going to be fun. Her infectious smile and laugh make everything—even unloading and setting up western shelters—more fun. But don’t let her fun attitude fool you, she is all about getting the job done! Alison makes sure walkers and crew alike have the best event possible. She makes being a captain look so easy, but I’ve been a captain and I know that it isn’t! She’s been doing this a very long time, but she still makes it all feel fresh and new. She really is all one could ask for to embody the 3-Day spirit.” —Amy N. 

“I am so happy to hear that Allison is receiving the Crew Impact Award. I met Allison at my third 3-Day in Atlanta, 2009. It was wet and we were all crammed into this small convention center-like place in northwest Atlanta. I was the camp hydration captain, which meant that at night, after everyone went to bed, my team had to make sure all the sports drink and water jugs were full and all the porta potties had toilet paper. Aside from those porta potties, what left this incredible impression on me was the overwhelming passion and energy of this young woman I met on the event. She would be up and running around in the middle of the night while my team was doing our work prepping camp and getting all these things ready for the next day. This of course was Alison. She would flag me down and have me run her in our little ATV cart from one side of camp to the next or haul gear from here to there. I could not believe all the things she was doing and the energy she was doing it with. It inspired me. Alison inspired me. She quickly became one of my favorite people on that event and so many of the ones following that. I found myself wanting to be around the girl who did whatever was needed for the walkers and the 3-Day, whether it was helping to find lost luggage (not her job), serving in the dinner line (not her job), setting up a tent (not her job), loading luggage into a truck (not her job) or leading as a captain for whatever team needed her (often Camp Services). She was/is incredible. I do not know where that energy comes from, but it is also so much more than the energy. She has the 3-Day spirit. The do-whatever-it-takes (see all the not her job comments above), bust-my-ass, selfless, humble, putting-other-people-first, I don’t care what I need to do, but you are going to smile (someone should get a series of pictures of all the ridiculous costumes she has worn and come up with over the years), winners-find-a-way attitude that those dealing with cancer need to be around. Boy, this could go on for a while. In the end, and trying to sum it up, Alison is what the 3-Day is all about to me, and I cannot think of the 3-Day without thinking about Alison. If that is not impactful, then I am not sure what is.” ―Jake S. 

“From the first moment I met Alison, I knew that not only was I in the presence of someone who lived and breathed the 3-Day, but also would be a lifelong friend. Her quiet dedication and commitment are infectious and I’m continually in awe of how she manages to blow away fundraising goals and motivate her supporters. In the over 10 years I’ve known her, we have gone through many of life’s ups and downs together, and I’m ever grateful for her—and grateful to the 3-Day for bringing us together.” ―Julie B. 

We’re so thankful for all our wonderful Crew! Without the Crew’s hard work, the 3-Day would not be possible. Stay tuned throughout the rest of the 2022 3-Day Series to see who else wins the new Crew Impact Award! 

2022 New England 3-Day Recap

Returning to New England for the first time since 2019, members of the Pink Bubble traveled from all across the country to participate in the first 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day of the year! August 26-28 were three special days as walkers, crew and volunteers completed 60 miles and raised $2.7 million in the fight against breast cancer.

Day 1

The first day of the event started with excitement and adrenaline during the Opening Ceremony, where we met host Lori Maris and emcee Kimberly Reinika! We raised our Promise Flag and then headed out on the route from the beautiful Marriott Copley Place.

Walkers got a full taste of the Boston suburbs this day, passing through areas such as Brookline and Newton, and also getting to see some of the most historic higher education campuses! We got a full view of both Boston College and Boston University, an institution that benefits from Komen research funds. Komen Scholar Dr. Julie Palmer from Boston University said, “Komen has a long history of working to decrease breast cancer health disparities, most recently with their Health Equity Initiative, which makes community engagement the foundation of change. I hope to contribute to these activities while continuing with my own research projects.”

Unfortunately, lightning and thunderstorms rolled in in the late afternoon, but thankfully 3-Day sweep vans and route safety crew worked together to gather all walkers still out on the route and bring them back to the hotel safely. Spirits were lifted back up with dinner and game night, as we played “junk in the trunk,” re-energized our skin with Natura Bissé Diamond Mist, enjoyed a community sing along and of course, sat in the relaxing Bank of America massage chairs.

Day 2

As always, Saturday morning was the Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we honored all of our top fundraisers! The fundraising efforts that all walkers, crew and Youth Corps do is truly amazing, and reminds us all that we’re in it together to put an end to this disease.

On the way to Pit Stop 1, walkers got a beautiful view of both Dorchester Bay and Pleasure Bay before getting refueled. After passing the Seaport District, they re-entered downtown into the beautiful Boston Common for Pit Stop 2.

Leaving Pit Stop 2, it was nothing but smiles as we passed the iconic “Cheers” bar and then Fenway Park, which made for some great photo ops!

We were also able to walk past Harvard University, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute that benefits from Komen Research funds. Interns from Dana-Farber came out and helped cheer on walkers! Komen Scholar and Dana-Farber medical oncologist, Nikhil Wagle, M.D. said “I’m in with Komen because they help support my research in metastatic breast cancer to try to make a difference for all the patients with metastatic disease.”

Lunch on Day 2 is always special, as we have our Halfway Celebration! Walkers ran through the pink streamer arch, relaxed on Mohawk Flooring’s SmartCushion, and participated in our Halfway Celebration dance before heading back on the route.

And though no alcohol is allowed on or off the route on the 3-Day, we did pass by Sam Adams Brewery before returning to the hotel after completing 40 miles of the 60-mile journey!

After taking photos at the Day 2, 40 miles banner, we ate delicious 3-Day mac & cheese and prepared for the Honor Ceremony. The stories and personal experiences told, along with individual declarations by our New England Youth Corps, reminded us all that while the 3-Day is such a fun event, we’re all here for one reason: to find the cures for this disease that has affected us all in one way or another. We lit our candles, placed them in our pink luminaria bags, and lined them up in our hotel room windowsills.

Day 3

The morning of Day 3 is always bittersweet. While excited to complete this journey and accomplish 60 miles in just three days, we don’t quite want this experience to be over yet.

Parallel to us finishing our own marathon of sorts, we started the Day 3 route at the Boston Marathon Finish Line. We then traveled through breathtaking Boston Common one last time before embracing the truly historic sights New England has to offer.

Shortly after passing Pit Stop 1, walkers encountered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Komen grantee, Dr. Regina Barzilay, is using artificial intelligence to predict breast cancer and personalize treatment.

We then made our way to the Freedom Trail. Not only did we see the historical USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument, but we also saw the Boston Tea Party ships!

Both lunch and Pit Stop 3 had gorgeous views, looking over Boston’s West End at North Point Park and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, respectively.

But it was the Lawn on D, our amazing Closing Ceremony site, that brought us all home. We were welcomed by a local cheer team, we celebrated our last walker and shared the Closing Ceremony with the smiling faces of our 800 New England 3-Day walkers and 175 crew members.

We raised our commit flags to honor those we walk for, and raised our shoes to salute our survivors. Together, we raised $2.7 million in the fight against breast cancer.

We thank all of our amazing participants not only for the life-changing funds they raised, but for the laughs, the cries, the hugs and high fives we all had together this weekend.

And thank you, New England, for welcoming us with open arms as we kicked off our 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series!

What was your favorite part about the New England 3-Day? Whether a sight or a story, tell us in the comments!