Congratulations to the 2017 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner

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For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring 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. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Char

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Char Wells.

Her teammate Chris Alexander is so proud of Char, and has experienced her support and 3-Day spirit first hand.

“When I was diagnosed, she and I talked, and her encouragement and advice was so helpful.  She is such a special lady and I love her drive.  Her determination is contiguous and her smile lights up the group!”

Knowing how much she cares for, and has given to, the whole 3-Day family, we had to hear from Char herself! When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!

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

I had always done the “Relay for Life” but felt I could do more. Then one day I heard an ad on the radio for the 3-Day and I thought…I can do that! In December 2007 I signed up for the 2008 Walk. I walked/trained every day at lunch, and weekends but not really having a reason that I was doing this. Then in August 2008, it happened – I had breast cancer.

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

I’m so blessed to be a survivor and the atmosphere of the 3-Day is such a joy, and so heartwarming and emotional. I have said several times “maybe this year or that year will be my last one,” but then there I am walking again! I have walked with a sprained ankle; been pushed in a wheelchair for 60 miles due to a broken foot; I have walked with herniated discs in my back (just prior to surgery). We 3-Day walkers are a special kind of crazy!!

Char Pole Dancing on the 3-Day with Richard

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

Ask! Ask everyone you know. Post on Facebook, send emails, send letters, anyway and every way you have a connection to. Getting a no doesn’t hurt, you get a no just move on to the next one.

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

Train and if you can, include hills. More importantly have FUN, enjoy the celebration of everyone around you. There will be tears, but that’s ok – tears become hugs, love and laughter.

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What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m a special kind of crazy!

I’ve never met a stranger and I so enjoy talking to people and getting to know them.

I love spending time with my family and friends.

When I have down time I like to play games, read or quilt.

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

You are NOT ALONE.

Share your love, give hugs!

It’s OK to sweep (take it from someone who walked with herniated discs in her back and

ended up putting her head on a wall, bursting into tears because she was so dang

determine to complete the walk) IT’S OK TO SWEEP.

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Insight Into Komen’s 2017 Research Grants

This year, Komen announced $30.7 million in research funding for 98 research grants which will mostly focus on discovering new treatments and improving our understanding of the most lethal forms of breast cancer – helping us move closer to achieving our Bold Goal.

For the first time, Komen will be giving members of the public an opportunity to directly fund specific research by participating in a crowdfunding initiative on Komen’s website.

We wanted to share with you the grant process and how the 2017 portfolio breaks down this year since 75% of net proceeds from your fundraising support this research and we could not accomplish any of this work without you.

Peer-Review

Komen has a renowned peer-review process – lead by Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) – that ensures the organization is funding the best and most imperative forms of research. Advocates and breast cancer patients also take part in peer-review, to ensure all aspects of breast cancer needs are being covered. You can learn more about peer-review here.

The 2017 research grants came through the request for applications (RFA) issued last year, prior to the Bold Goal announcement in September of 2016. Still, 41.3% of Komen’s grants are focusing on metastatic breast cancer research and 54.4% of grants are focusing on new treatments.

The 2018 process for new proposals began in April and all applications submitted were asked to directly support Komen’s efforts towards the Bold Goal. Researchers were invited to submit projects that addressed metastasis or resistance to current therapies.

This Year

In 2017, Komen research funding went to institutions in 27 states and across 8 countries. The majority of grants are focusing on new screening technologies, metastatic and aggressive types of breast cancer and understanding and addressing disparities in breast cancer. By targeting metastatic disease – which is responsible for almost all of the nation’s 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths – Komen is hoping to reduce breast cancer deaths in the U.S. dramatically. To date, Komen has funded more than $180 million in metastatic breast cancer research. 2017 funding also includes $17.6 million to early-career investigators which helps to ensure a continuum of breast cancer research across generations.

Komen’s 2017 portfolio includes*:

  • 37 grants expanding our knowledge of metastatic breast cancer and how to better treat it or prevent it;
  • 42 grants looking into triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype of breast cancer; 59 grants focused on new therapies;
  • 24 investigating drug resistance (why drugs stop working in some patients);
  • 9 on disparities in breast cancer outcomes;
  • As well as projects investigating inflammatory breast cancer, early detection, prevention, Big Data and more.

Crowdfunding

This fall, Komen is making it possible for supporters to make a personal impact on breast cancer research. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Komen will highlight four metastatic breast cancer researchers and encourage donations to their specific grants. More information on the crowdfunding initiative will be announced in October.

Thank You!

When you walk and raise money you are making a direct contribution to our grants. Funds that you raise through 3-Day could  support a young scientist for a day working toward finding the cures, or could support an oncologist for a day as they run clinical trials to find the cures for breast cancer. We could not fund potentially lifesaving research without your help and support. Thank you for the impact that you make here at Komen and always being More Than Pink.

You can learn more about Komen’s 2017 funding here.

Seattle 3-Day Route Preview

In September, the 3-Day is taking us to the Pacific Northwest. Here we come, Seattle 3-Day!

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For returning walkers, this walk will be a welcome combination of all their favorite spots, combined with a few updates we have made based on participant feedback from last year. There were some big changes to the route last year, so for this year we just made some small updates to the 2016 route.

Our Seattle Event Production Manager, Ann Love, says, “I’m so glad that we were able to take a new route that was so well-received last year, and make a few changes to make people even happier! We made some nice updates!”

Those updates include a new spot for lunch on Day One, at the Downtown Park at Bellevue. We had lunch at the park a few years ago, but due to construction on the site, we haven’t been in there in a while, so this will be our first year back in the beautiful park! This is one of Ann’s favorite spots on Day 1 because there is a waterfall, a beautiful pond full of ducks, stadium seating and even a cool play area. If walkers still have energy after their first few miles, Ann recommends playing in the park!

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There are still plenty of well-known favorite sites on the Day One route, including the Opening Ceremony at the Space Needle, and camp in Redmond at Marymoor Park.

Ann promises newcomers that the park is “really large and beautiful! It’s an awesome camp spot!”

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After a restful night’s sleep in our park campground, much of Day Two will be spent along the waterfront in Kirkland.

Ann says this is usually “everyone’s favorite part” of the walk, and will offer a lot of great photo opportunities. Don’t forget to use #SEA3Day when you post your photos on social media!

You will also see some fun local cheering stations on the Day Two route.

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Those include the Parrot Heads of Puget Sound, who will be on Snyder’s Corner in Kirkland. You can enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffet as they support your every step! There will also be the Shore Cheerleaders in the morning and Woodinville Cheerleaders in the afternoon to help keep all our walkers motivated.

Also, keep an eye out for photo ops at Heritage, Grass Lawn and even Google Park. There is plenty to see and enjoy throughout the day!

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In addition, Coach Stephanie Mayer says to keep an eye out for the famous Lil Smokies Guys, who will be out every day of the weekend to cheer on the walkers!

Day Three has the most changes to the route from last year, all based on participant feedback from last year’s walkers. These include removing some stairs from the walk!

“These are all changes for the better that should make our walkers happy!” according to Ann.

The North Queens Drill Team will be out cheering the walkers on Sunday morning. They are a military precision marching and flag team. The team enables girls 8-20 the opportunity to march in parades and competitions, to learn sportsmanship, leadership, discipline, and responsibility. This is a favorite part of the walk for Coach Stephanie!

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There is also Gas Works Park, located on the north shore of Lake Union. You’ll hit this park around mile 6.8. and be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Seattle skyline from here!

Another site to look out for on Day Three will be the Woodland Park Rose Garden. The route will take walkers past the park, but we encourage walkers to take a slight detour to go in to explore and take photos!

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Then we will complete our 60 miles back at the Space Needle! What spots are you most looking forward to on the Seattle 3-Day?