Congratulations to the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron

For the 2018 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Joan Caughron. Joan is a breast cancer survivor who’s family is amazing at her dedication to everyone she loves, including her 3-Day family! Joan’s sister recalls that “growing up, our dad always noticed that whatever I was doing, Joan did, too. Well, now, I want to be like my little sister and follow her steps for those very same reasons. I love you so very much, Joanie, and I’m so very proud to be your sister!”

Twin Cities 3-Day Coach Stephanie was also so excited to present Joan with the award this past weekend! She told us, “Joan is a rockstar volunteer helping out the local coaches each season as a training walk leader and also volunteers her time to flyer our 3-Day route, alerting residents and businesses that all of you will be walking by. This year though her reason for participating became much more personal as Joan is now walking as a survivor. 4 months ago Joan found herself suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis brought surgery, weeks of radiation and a daily medication regimen which began this week. I’m happy to report that Joan is cancer-free. Like all of you she will continue to walk until a cure has been found. Her dedication to this event and the cause make her truly worthy of this award.”

To learn more about Joan, we asked the lady herself!

What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?

I started walking in the TC 3-Day 5 years ago. My good friend Lori was originally diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 4. Nowhere in her family did anyone have breast cancer, she was the first. Lori was brave and courageous throughout her treatments, which included: many rounds of chemo over the years, radiation, brain surgery, clinical trials, and a battery of tests.

Lori kept her humor right to the end. I can still see her scrunching up her nose when I asked how she liked the Jello she had for breakfast. I can even hear her chuckling at something funny that was said one day, as I sat at her dining room table. Two days later Lori passed away from this horrible disease. I gave my promise to Lori a few years ago, that I would keep walking until a cure is found for breast cancer. My team name is Lori’s Chance. I walk in memory of Lori, for my children, for those battling this disease, for the survivors, and those that have been lost. I don’t want others to get the “call” saying you have breast cancer.

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

I return each year to the walk the 3-Day until a cure is found for breast cancer. This year I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer, and the 3-Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. This is why we walk, this is why we fight, and we can’t stop until this disease has been eliminated. Okay, now the lighthearted side of the 3-Day is seeing your friends each year; they are your “pink” family (and through out the year for many of us Twin Cities locals). Then there are the fun shenanigans on the route.

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

Ask everyone!! Sometimes you have to ask potential donors more than once. Ask for matching gifts which can increase your fundraising account quickly.

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

Enjoy the walk! Remember, it’s a journey, not a race. You will experience many emotions from laughter to tears. Introduce yourself to walkers you don’t know, especially our first time walkers. Take it all in from the beautiful scenery on route, to dancing in the tent. It’s important to train for the 3-Day. Stay hydrated, stretch often and have fun!!!

What’s a fun fact about you?

As I was growing up, I was on the All Star Girls Softball Team for the Northern Tazewell Recreation Association. I played first base on the team, and our team won first place.

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

I keep learning new lessons why it is so important that we walk. We are all here to meet a common goal, a world without breast cancer. A couple of years ago, I was coming into Pit Stop 3 on Indian Mounds Park and there were several survivors greeting walkers as they arrived. By that point on Day 3, no one is really looking their best, but to the survivors we all looked beautiful. A couple of them approached me and said, “Thank you for Walking so I can live.” Without Susan G. Komen, some of them would not be able to afford their treatment. That instantly brought me to tears, but it was an experience I will cherish the rest of my life.

Help each other out on the 3-Day. A kind word or a smile can lift someone’s spirit and brighten their day!

Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

It’s here! The Twin Cities 3-Day is tomorrow, and we can’t wait to take this 60-mile journey with all our Minnesota 3-Dayers. As our staff and crew gather today to make final preparations and plans, no one is looking forward to tomorrow more than our Twin Cities 3-Day Coaching Team.

Meet Coaches Stephanie and Tisho, along with our amazing Crew Coordinator Kiki and Event Manager Eileen. They make the 3-Day magic happen year-round, working every day towards this weekend.

Stephanie has an infectious laugh and an upbeat attitude about everything. Tisho is full of knowledge on the widest range of topics, is a great advice-giver and has a heart of gold. Kiki is hilarious and oh so productive, remaining calm no matter what problems come her way. Eileen is the “complete package” of 3-Day information and support, always seeing the good in people around her. What a group!

These compliments and accolades don’t come from thin air, either! These are straight from the mouth of their fellow coaches.

With that kind of support, it should be no surprise that Coach Tisho, who is new to the Twin Cities 3-Day, describes this 3-Day with one simple word: family.

“I’ve been a part of the 3-Day for 10 years now and it is the most amazing group of people. The participants and my colleagues have made this literally a life-changing event for me. That’s why I’m most excited for my first Twin Cities 3-Day and meeting all the participants with whom I’ve been speaking since last year!”

Other things they’re looking forward to? The whole team is very excited for the latest changes to the route this year and can’t wait to hear feedback from participants.

Some of their favorite spots (both new and old) along this year’s route include:

  • All the beautiful lakes on Day 1
  • Stone Arch Bridge on Day 1
  • Downtown White Bear Lake on Day 2 (Hint: this is new and it’s fabulous!)
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • The St. Paul Water Utility Trail in Vadnais Heights
  • Day 3’s view of the downtown St. Paul skyline after you pass through Pit 3 and walk into Indian Mounds Park. This is definitely a photo op, so get your cameras ready!
  • Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island

“I am giddy with excitement for them to see our brand-new Day 2 route which will take them through White Bear Lake and its charming downtown area!” says Coach Steph. “I’m also really excited that on Day 1 we’ll be back walking down Nicollet Mall. The last two years the mall has been under construction and now it looks beautiful. This is the heart of downtown Minneapolis and features a lot of great restaurants and all the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis.”

The whole team is full of Minnesota pride, with Coach Kiki saying the whole weekend will be full of “beautiful scenery and the nicest people on the planet.”

Don’t miss a minute of this fun and beauty! That was the #1 piece of advice from all the coaches. Take your time and enjoy the whole weekend. Make new friends, reconnect with old ones. Try new experiences and be open to the joy of the weekend.

“Be present! Those two simple words were part of the Opening Ceremony a few years back and they really hit me. Don’t just follow the pink parade. Don’t let it all pass you by. Stop and take photos, pay attention to what’s around you and the people next to you. Soak it all in because even when you come back next year it will never be the same event twice,” promises Coach Kiki.

You’ll be surrounded by your 3-Day family, led by your local coaches. They can’t wait to welcome you in!

3-Day Michigan Coaches: Favorite Parts of the 2018 3-Day

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The countdown is on to our first 3-Day of 2018, and no one is more excited than your Michigan 3-Day Coaches. Jennifer, Heather and Gina have been preparing, planning and getting pumped up for this coming weekend since Michigan’s Closing Ceremony in 2017. They can’t wait to welcome all our 3-Dayers back into the Pink Bubble!

What are they most excited for this year?

Coach Jennifer is looking forward to “meeting all of the new folks that I have been talking to on the phone and via email for the past several months and reconnecting with our amazing veteran walkers.”

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The coaches with Event Production Manager, Ann Love

Crew & Volunteer Coordinator Gina echoes that statement saying she can’t wait for to welcome “those returning and meeting the new faces on the event,” especially when it comes to the Crew and Volunteers.

Crew, Youth Corps and volunteers are all a huge part of the 3-Day experience after all!

“I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported,” Coach Gina promises. “Youth Corps, our friends in yellow, are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. Be sure to “high-five” a crew or Youth Corps member!”

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You can also high five your coaches because they have some great advice for you! How should you make the most of your time on the Michigan 3-Day? Their top tips are all very similar:

  • “Enjoy every single moment the 3-Day has for you. Do not be in a rush to get to the next pit stop, don’t worry about what “number” you are! Enjoy it and soak it in. Take a lot of pictures, talk to your fellow walkers, not just those you may be on a team with. Trust me, these three days will fly by.” – Coach Jennifer
  • “Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’” – Coach Gina
  • “One step at a time. Soak it all in! Don’t get so lost in “just getting it done” that you miss all the awesomeness that comes with every minute.” – Coach Heather

While you soak in these moments, also remember how much the 3-Day matters to walkers, Crew and coaches alike.

Coach Gina says, “My 3-Day ‘why’ became much more personal in the past year and has renewed my energy in this fight. My own breast cancer battle brought surgeries, chemo, radiation, and more…but I am blessed because I had my 3-Day community around me, who lifted me up when I needed it most. The 3-Day to me is a family, a family bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.”

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Every step you take on the 60-mile route makes a huge difference. And of course, no one knows the route better than these three ladies!

Here are their favorite spots to look for over your Michigan weekend:

  • Walking along the water early on Day 1
  • Camp! All the coaches promise that camp will be cozy and full of fun things to do
  • All the local cheering stations!
  • But especially the Plymouth cheering station on Day 3
  • Kellogg Park
  • The cheerleaders on Day 3
  • York Street in Dearborn
  • Any place along the route where there are dogs! (Good point Coach Jennifer 😊)

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This team works hard, but they also love to work together and support each other!

Gina is the “calm, cool and collected” one of the group who “always has a kind word for everyone.” Heather and Jennifer describe themselves as two peas in a pod; they even finish each other sentences!

Coach Heather sums it up nicely when she says, “If I had to use one, all-encompassing word, it would be FRIENDS! We are there for each other in all aspects of our lives. We cheer each other’s victories and we show love and support during our times of struggle. We are blessed to be part of this tightknit team and we are so excited to share an amazing 2018 3-Day with our awesome walkers and crew!”

With excitement and love like that, you know this weekend is going to be one for the books!

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