“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Happy Thanksgiving, 3-Day family!

While we couldn’t gather “together” in person this year, the 3-Day family found a way to spread Pink Bubble magic during an unprecedented time. We are so thankful for all you’ve done.

You’ve gone above and beyond. You’ve done special acts of kindness, hit incredible milestones, and helped inspire and teach your peers how to continue fundraising when those fighting breast cancer need it most.

You hit the pavement in your hometowns all year. From our Spring Break virtual training walk in April to the Summer Solstice walk in June, to each of our 2021 3-Day Virtual Kick-Offs, we treasured every moment of joy spent with the 3-Day family.

You were there for each other. We are blown away every day by the power of the 3-Day family, its ability to lift up a family member when they need it most, and how it brings support every day to those who are a part of it.

Despite all of the challenges, you brought joy to 2020. When we think of the 3-Day family, this quotation resonates so deeply with us: “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” —K. Barth

For every step taken, every dollar raised, every moment shared—today and all days, we are grateful for you and that you are on this journey with us.

When November began and we started this season of gratitude, we posed a question to the Pink Bubble family on social: “Who in the 3-Day family are you thankful for and why?”

At first, Cathy M.’s quick, clever reply on Twitter made us chuckle: “This is kind of like asking who is your favorite child. Teammates? Crew? Volunteers? Medics? Cheering stations? Coaches? I ♥ them all & am thankful for them all!”

Then, as time went on and more and more of you shared, we read every beautiful note of thanks from the 3-Day family—and our hearts began to overflow with joy and gratitude for this special community.

Dottie C. summed it up so perfectly. “For me, the 3-Day is a collective ‘who.’ Although there are people who are standouts, the Bubble can have a personality of its own. The ‘Bubble moments’ that always grab me are the silent and unsung moments of support and love that are always present during this event. From the opening ceremony, along the route, at camp, to the closing ceremony, we have a rare opportunity to witness some of the best of people. So, to all of YOU in all events. You are my ‘who’ I am thankful for. Cheers!”

Happy Thanksgiving, 3-Day family. We hope you feel our gratitude for you.

Here are a few more responses from the community:

Monica F.: “I would agree with Dottie, the 3-Day is for sure a collective ‘who’ I am thankful for. Almost half of the people in my life today are from the 3-Day. It’s such an inspiring place for all of us collectively.”

Mandie R.: “I am thankful for the entire Pink Bubble—there is truly nothing like it! I am so very thankful for my girls, my sisters, those who I have been with since Day 01, Christine, Becki, and Allie. Through the years, we have cried together, laughed together, supported each other, fought together (not with each other), pushed one another to get up a d*mn hill, dragged the other to the next pit stop/grab & go, or simply whined for hours on end about everything 🤣. No matter how much time goes by that we haven’t seen one another—we pick up right where we left off! There are truly no words to describe my heartfelt ♥ for my girls! I love each one of you. Thank you for making my life better because you are in it. Forever sisters but family for life! #theTataSisterhood #SisterFriends”

Mary N.: “I am thankful for Dottie C….a most energetic, devoted, and heart-full participant and champion of the cause. She is an inspiration! ❤️”

Billy B.: “I am thankful for the friends I have made through the years I have been involved. My very good friend, Joy W., Brad T., and all the other people I have met. They have supported me through the pain of losing my wife, and I have done the same for them with their loved ones. Also, the support of my son and daughter, who lost their mother. She was a daughter, sister, friend, wife, lover, mother, grandmother, and a NURSE. She is missed and loved every day.”

L. G.: “I am thankful to so many in the ‘Pink Bubble family.’ Every coach who inspires walkers to fundraise more and train harder. Every crew member who makes the walks so much easier and enjoyable. Every walker who is brave enough to share their stories of survivorship, loss or doing good for the world.”

Meet our AVEENO® Champions

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the Susan G. Komen’s AVEENO® Champions Contest—our five AVEENO® Champions! These special members of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® community each bring their own unique chapters to the 3-Day story, and we’re proud to be able to share them with you on the blog. As you continue to prepare for your 3-Day journey, AVEENO® Cares and is here for you as a resource and support system. Today, join AVEENO® Cares and the Komen 3-Day family as we introduce our five AVEENO® Champions. #AveenoCares

Jennifer R.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I first participated in the 3-Day in 2008, and I have participated once each year since. 2021 will be my 13th walk. I’ve walked most of them but have crewed two. I walked and crewed in Boston through 2013, and then walked Seattle, Philadelphia twice, and San Diego twice; I returned to New England in 2019.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

My best friend/sister-by-heart/cousin, Lori D., was diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer. We have a strong family history, so the only thing that was surprising was that she was so young when diagnosed (31). The women in our family are also survivors, so we were hopeful. Lori’s other best friend, Bonnie G., wanted to do something big and signed up for the 2006 3-Day after she heard an ad on the radio. Lori had finished treatment and walked with her and one other woman; I decided not to join them — it seemed too daunting. I had participated in smaller walks before, and, honestly, the crowds of people and intense heat did not bring out the best in me.

Lori loved the 3-Day and signed up for 2007. I mentioned to her that I felt I should walk with her and she assured me it was not “Jen-friendly” due to the reasons I mentioned. Before she could walk in the 2007 walk, Lori was diagnosed with lung cancer (which no one could understand), and her breast cancer metastasized to her brain and her spine. She was too sick to walk in August 2007 and passed away at the beginning of September. I knew I had to walk the 2008 3-Day in her honor. She was devoted to the 3-Day; when diagnosed with lung cancer, many suggested she quit the 3-Day and do the Relay for Life instead — she refused. The 3-Day was important to Lori; now, it was equally important to me.

I signed up for the 2008 3-Day and told my teammates (our team was named Lori’s Breast Friends) that I didn’t know if I would be emotionally able to actually walk all three days, but I would try. I walked all 60 miles — for Lori. I continue to participate in the 3-Day for Lori, and so we can have a future where breast cancer doesn’t take someone’s best friend, sister, mother, cousin — anyone.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I applied to be an AVEENO® Champion because I had used AVEENO® products in the past and wanted to try to support a company that was sponsoring the 3-Day. The companies that support Komen and the 3-Day have an increased value in my book, and I thought I would try to support one. Also, I thought if I liked the products, being an AVEENO® Champion would be a great way to share my “approval” of the products and company with my friends on social media — a way to give back to a company that is giving to the 3-Day.

Lynda dC.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

2021 will be my 13th experience with the 3-Day. I started in 2002 in San Francisco, walking and then crewing. In 2006, I walked the 3-Day in Seattle, a grueling event that is still talked about today by those who participated. I began my annual participation in the San Diego 3-Day in 2010, and I’m now a five-time walker and four-time crew member for pit stops and camp services. I had to sit out in 2019 but will be back in San Diego for 2021. I look forward to the 2021 San Diego virtual kick-off!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

In 2002, I only knew one person who was affected by breast cancer. My aunt had passed away long before the advances in treatment that are available today. In her memory and as a personal physical challenge, I made the commitment to train, fundraise, and take the 3-Day journey. All it took was one experience, and I was “hooked.” The 3-Day mission is always my main reason for joining, and the experiences, people, joy, and friendships keep me participating every year.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

The 3-Day brings awareness to breast cancer and our commitment to find a cure. As a major part of that effort, Susan G. Komen and 3-Day participants focus on health and well-being. In turn, AVEENO® products emphasize well-being, and being named one of the Champions means that together, we will bring health into the spotlight. It is an honor to be one of the AVEENO® Champions.

Julie “Alaska Julie” J.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I have participated in 25 events — walked 23 and crewed two in Arizona, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, Seattle, New England, Michigan, and Philadelphia. I wish I could remember how many in each city, but I can’t! I also did a solo 3-Day in Alaska this summer…so really I count that I’ve done 26 events, but the Alaska one wasn’t official.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I did my first event not knowing anyone who had breast cancer. I was sitting in my apartment in Arizona when I saw a commercial for the 3-Day. I was at a point in my life when I needed to do something for others. I figured I would do one and be done. Boy, was I wrong. Once I learned more and met so many amazing people involved in the 3-Day, I knew I had to keep walking and raising awareness and money for breast cancer. I will continue to do so till there is a cure. I have learned so much to be able to help friends and strangers who have been diagnosed. I also put together chemo and radiation boxes for people and also serve as a chemo partner if they need one.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

First, I already use AVEENO®. It is cold and dry in Alaska in the winter. I am excited to spread the word that AVEENO® is a new sponsor for the 3-Day, to let people going through treatment know how AVEENO® can help them, and how AVEENO® is supporting Susan G. Komen. I am also happy to represent and spread the word about Komen and the 3-Day.

Carolyn P.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I created a team, Feet to Beat Breast Cancer, in 2005. This will be our 16th year walking —– 14 in Atlanta, one in San Diego, and now we’re going to Chicago in 2021 — where we will surpass our $1,000,000 fundraising milestone! We have an absolutely amazing group, which now includes both my teenage sons!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I cannot NOT participate. My mom, sister and several close friends and teammates have battled breast cancer. I have lost two of those teammates, both young moms. I have seen so much pain, suffering and loss. The 3-Day gives me hope. Susan G. Komen has facilitated incredible progress in all facets of this disease, and I am proud to be a part of that. My team and the people I have met through the walk have had a profound impact on my life. It is truly a gift to be able to share the road and the journey with tremendous men and women while raising money for breast cancer research and patient support.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am very honored to be named an AVEENO® Champion! As a loyal customer, I was excited to hear AVEENO® would serve as a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series. I respect the company not only for its product excellence, but for its commitment to wellness. “We are committed to healthy, holistic practices that ensure we always do right by you, your family and the planet.” I am proud to support this company who is so generously giving back!

Kerrie K.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I walked the Atlanta 3-Day in 2017 & 2018, the San Diego 3-Day in 2019, and I am walking Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego in 2021 — I can’t wait!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

It does not matter where we come from, who we are, or what country we live in. We all are connected as the human race in knowing someone that is battling breast cancer. It’s awful, isn’t it? I lost my mom, aunts, and friends to cancer, but I have also seen remission in others. We all have our purpose in our lives, and we are all Mighty Pink Warriors. This is my purpose — to raise money, walk for those who can’t, and give hope to others. Hopefully, this world will be without cancer someday! I love that possibility.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am so happy and honored to part to be part of this wonderful opportunity with Susan G. Komen and AVEENO® in our fight against breast cancer. Together, we can give men and women hope in the fight against breast cancer! 

Thanks to AVEENO® for their continued support of the 3-Day, and congratulations again to our AVEENO® Champions!

Crystal’s Wonder Woman

“Omg that is me! I did it for my aunt who survived triple negative breast cancer. She is truly a hero in my eyes and the strongest woman I know. She is my Wonder Woman.”

When we saw this comment on one of our favorite 3-Day photos on Instagram, we knew we needed to find this walker and her aunt to learn more. In a time where we cannot gather together in-person, social media allows us the opportunity to continue to build community even when we’re apart.

Today, we’re excited to introduce you that amazing walker. Crystal Fazio joined us to walk the San Diego 3-Day in 2019 when her aunt, Ilsia Rangel, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. According to Crystal, “We were devastated with the news. Her chances of getting through it were extremely low. My aunt was a fighter though and explored her options.” After difficult chemo sessions, lymph node removal, and a double mastectomy, Crystal’s aunt has been in remission for 18 months.

Crystal continued, “We as a family stayed by her side and helped her through for better and worse. We wanted to give back in support of breast cancer awareness. That’s when we found the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.” Crystal’s aunt immediately said. “Let’s do this, we got this!” No one hesitated, and eight friends and family members founded The Bouncing Bellas.

Crystal and the Bouncing Bella’s treasured every moment they walked with Crystal’s aunt. “She truly is a super woman to me and my family because of all the challenging obstacles that came in her way. She fought back, blisters and all!” exclaimed Crystal. As first-time walkers on a new team, the Bouncing Bellas had a lot to take in. When asked what she’d tell other first-time walkers, Crystal shared, “My message for first-time walkers is that it will be tough and challenging. Train hard, stay hydrated, and keep pushing through, because the experience is worth all the pain and blisters. It is truly an experience of a lifetime. Oh, and don’t forget the PICKLES!”

Crystal’s aunt recently learned that her cancer has returned as lung and liver cancer, yet her family continues to come together and rally in support of Ilsia. Crystal proudly states, “She is still our Super Woman and puts on a smile every day. Nothing! Not even cancer is slowing her down!”

Thanks to Crystal for sharing her powerful smile with the 3-Day world via our Instagram page and especially for relaying the story of her Wonder Woman, her aunt.

In true social media form, when asked if she could share a DM with each person in the 3-Day community, Crystal said: “Stay positive, have fun, and remember, you are not alone!”

We are so lucky that we can still connect with walkers like Crystal – and all of you! – virtually over social media and at our virtual kick-off events, even though we can’t join together in person this year.