Melissa and David: 3-Day Power Spouses

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Today is Spouse’s Day, and we are lucky to have many spouses, along with significant others of all kinds, walk with us on the 3-Day. Their love and support mirrors the love and support that surround the pink bubble on our 60-mile journey. It’s inspiring to say the least! One such couple is David and Melissa from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day.

They have been together for a decade, and now walk the 3-Day with their daughter Alex, plus four other couples! Together, they have walked and crewed and made themselves a staple in the “powerful pink bubble of love” that is the 3-Day.

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But it all started with Melissa. She is a breast cancer survivor (20 years now, and counting!), and walked her first 3-Day in 2007 along with her daughter. At the time, David was their walker stalker, but soon he was walking and crewing alongside them.

Melissa says that even now, “Doing the 3-Day as a couple is an extraordinary way to do the event! Sharing something that is so important keeps us focused on our shared values and we are there for each other when training is tough, motivation wanes, or simply to enjoy each other’s company. We both have full time careers that take up a lot of time and the world is a busy place. Training walks are ‛our time’ to shut down phones and just be together, talk about life, and plan for the future. We now walk long walks year-round.

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“When we are on event, we have the advantage of having our partner and best friend on site to share the experience, to take care of each other, to share that extra dessert in the evening or to bring each other coffee in the morning!”

That is the case whether you’re walking or crewing! Melissa and David have done it all, supporting each other when David didn’t think 60 miles was a big deal (Melissa still reminds him of this) or when Melissa took a tumble as part of bike safety crew (David helped her get back up and out onto the route). Those long miles together bring them closer every year.

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Melissa says that no matter how you get involved, the 3-Day is a great way to connect with your loved ones.

“The 3-Day brings us back to the sense of community where we are all in it together and if anyone is in need, then we have all failed — so the spirit of being there for each other is present in everything we do throughout the weekend. David and I live our marriage like this as much as possible, but life today can make us all a bit self-centered. The 3-Day always brings a wonderful experiential reminder of how powerful kindness really can be when someone is tired, hurting, losing motivation or simply walking with sadness and grief. There is no substitute for a kind word and a helping hand.”

Since they have started participating together, David has also spoken at the Opening Ceremony in Melissa’s honor, and Melissa spoke at the Camp Show in 2017. They are also training walk leaders and members of the Komen Advisory Council. The 3-Day has become a part of their life and their marriage, and they encourage other couples to also participate together.

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“I would say that any couple who are considering walking together should jump in. There is plenty of space for alone time and together time and time with your friends on the event. There are only upsides to walking with your partner — or even walking while a partner is on the crew. Making the 3-Day a family affair helps in every aspect of the event.”

Do you know a 3-Day couple, or are you part of one? Tell us how the 3-Day has brought you and your spouse closer in the comments!

 

Make the Most of the 3-Day Message Boards

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Anytime is the perfect time to register for the 3-Day! Aside from helping Komen reach their Bold Goal, you will also gain a whole new family of friends.

But, once you’ve registered for the 3-Day, how can you connect with other participants? Your online 3-Day Participant Center has many tools, including the 3-Day message boards.

If you’re a first-time walker, or someone who hasn’t used the message boards before, they’re a great way to tap into the knowledge and experience of other participants and our coaches! Want training tips or new fundraising ideas? There’s a message board for that. There’s also a message board to help connect you with local teams, ask questions about the 3-Day itself, and more!

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Plus, you know that your information and questions will be kept secure. As a walker and one of your Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day coaches, Liz Parks likes that the message boards are on a secure site so that any communication is private and just for 3-Day participants.

While we are happy to help answer any, and all, of your questions on social media, especially on our local coaches’ Facebook pages, we know not everyone is on Facebook. So, if social media isn’t your thing, that’s where the message boards come in yet again. You can get the same conversation and expertise, even if you don’t have a Facebook account.

Also, please always feel free to reach out to us via email – or call us! We love hearing from you no matter what!

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However, even if you are one of our active Facebook members or have called your coaches in the past, you should still take advantage of the message boards. Coach Liz says you might find new information and new people to chat with!

“We want to encourage everyone that even if they post on Facebook, they should also post on the message boards.”

It also gives continuity, so you can find everything you want, all in the same place. The message boards make it easy!

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If you haven’t signed up for a 3-Day in 2018, now is the perfect time! Until February 5th, you can register for the 3-Day and get $20 off your registration fee. Registration is just the start of your 3-Day journey, your first step towards your 60-mile walk to end breast cancer.

Meet Smokey T. Bear, Honorary 3-Dayer

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“Christa was an amazing human being. She was very giving and loving. She always had a smile and a hug for everyone. She never met a stranger.” —Sharon Ray

Christa Cannon was a part of the 3-Day family starting in 2013. She was an active participant, even through two breast cancer diagnoses, and had signed up to walk all seven cities in 2017. However, Christa sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in June of 2017, before she could walk alongside her pink family this past year. In her honor, all our 2017 seven-city walkers wore her name on their credentials as they crossed their final finish line in San Diego.

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Also in her honor, a special 3-Dayer came on the seven-city journey Christa had planned on making. His name is Smokey T. Bear.

This small stuffed bear was carried by a different walker in each city, but always had Christa’s photo pinned to his chest.

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His 2017 journey began in Michigan with walker Sharon R., who has been a 3-Dayer in various cities since 2011. She knew the power of Smokey and Christa’s story.

“It was an honor like no other. Being the first person, I had to set the bar for everyone else. It was like Christa was still walking with us. I made copies of her picture for everyone that carried Smokey to have. I think Christa was watching from above.”

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From there, Smokey walked with a new participant in each city, including Melissa W. (at left above) and her other members of Team Shenanigans. It was Melissa who came up with the idea to carry Smokey this year in Christa’s honor, and she said that “support just poured in” as soon as she told a few people about her plan.

Sharon and lots of participants were more than happy to carry Smokey, and “tell Christa and Smokey’s story for all to hear.” Sharon says she is still so grateful to Melissa for “touching so many people with Christa’s story.”

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In addition to the 3-Day, Christa (and Smokey) has watched over Melissa in an MS Society bike ride and an Ironman in the form of a smaller stuffed animal version. Melissa also plans to bring this mini-Smokey on her next Ironman attempt this coming April! Melissa keeps Christa in mind when she needs motivation, and felt that Christa’s spirit helped her in her times of need.

“Christa was a special person. She was very giving and loving. Positive and tough but knew how to make people laugh.”

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If you’re joining us on the 3-Day again in 2018, be sure to keep an eye out for Smokey, and other memories of Christa. Melissa and Sharon are both signed up to Crew in all seven cities and look forward to keeping Christa’s memory alive.

We will carry her in our hearts for years to come.

Melissa says, “I will continue the quest of the memory of my dear friend Christa, my mother in law Delores and of all my other friends who have lost the battle or who are fighting the fight.”

Because we will never quit.

Thank you to everyone who carried, hugged and supported Smokey T. Bear (and his walking buddies) throughout 2017! See more of his memories below.

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Smokey on Bike II