Every year, thousands of philanthropic individuals come together in cities across the country to walk 20, 40, or 60 miles, united by a common goal—making a significant impact in the fight against breast cancer. Amongst those in the ocean of pink this year was Debra E., a breast cancer survivor who participated in her first ever 3-Day this year in Denver, both as a crew member and 1-Day walker. We met with Debra who shared her personal journey, reflecting on how this experience deeply touched her heart.
Last year, Debra heard about the 3-Day on a Facebook post which prompted her to become involved with Susan G. Komen both locally and with the 3-Day. Inspired by her own survivorship, her grandmother and several close friends who have battled breast cancer, she decided to participate in the 2022 Susan G. Komen Denver More Than Pink Walk. Having loved her experience at that event, she signed up for the 3-Day to further contribute to the cause.
As a first-time 3-Dayer and combination crew member and walker, Debra was unsure of what to expect, but was blown away by her experience. She was able to make friends with both crew and walkers, so while walking on Day 3, crew members that she met in days prior were cheering her on along the route and at the finish line. Recounting her first-time laying eyes on the sea of people who were all there to support survivors, thrivers, and those walking for loved ones that could not, the feeling was indescribable. “Everyone had a smile and supportive words, and it was so infectious,” she shared. “Walking was a very supportive experience. Even when I struggled because I had a knee injury, I was still getting encouragement and support from everyone in the Pink Bubble!”
Participating in the 3-Day necessitates both physical and mental preparation. To adequately prepare for the monumental event, Debra took advice that veteran walkers shared on the Facebook pages and during the online Social Hours. She went on training walks and fundraised through social media and by emailing everyone she could think of.
Debra recalls her favorite moments of the Denver 3-Day meeting the incredible walkers and crew members, and that seeing her loved ones as she crossed the finish line was particularly humbling. Her advice to anyone who is hesitant to sign up is “Just do it! It may sound very daunting, but I expect that you will get caught up in the excitement and won’t even notice the miles go by.” Having loved her experience at the 3-Day, Debra has signed up to crew/walk the 2024 Denver and crew San Diego 3-Day.
It’s people like Debra who make the 3-Day possible and such a rewarding experience. It is about so much more than walking, but coming together to do something challenging as we raise funds to advance breast cancer research, treatment, and awareness. In Debra’s very own words, “We [walk to] raise money so that we can eradicate breast cancer FOREVER!”