Meet Your New Atlanta Coach!

We are so lucky to have great 3-Day coaches nationwide. They work around the clock to share advice, give support, and help you through every step of the 3-Day process. This year, we are excited to welcome a new member to that team: Coach Jennifer in Atlanta!

Coach Jennifer began walking the 3-Day in 2006, and says the event has “changed my life in such a wonderful way!”

She’s ready to make this Atlanta 3-Day a life-changing one for all her participants, too! She has already begun working with the rest of the Atlanta team, laying the groundwork for a memorable event in October.

“What an amazing group of coaches we have working on the 3-Day, especially in Atlanta! Their drive, compassion and love of the 3-Day is admirable! I’m so fortunate to have joined such an experienced and dedicated team!” she enthuses. “The resolve of this team is truly remarkable. There is nothing they won’t do to support me (as a new coach) and more importantly, our phenomenal 3-Day community in Atlanta.”

It is the community that Jennifer is especially excited to engage with this year, as she says the cheering stations (especially ones with children) were her favorite part of the 3-Day when she walked. She looks forward to meeting all the Atlanta participants and working towards achieving Komen’s Bold Goal.

Her personal goal for 2018 is much simpler but is one she wants all participants nationwide to remember.

“I will make my appointment and have my mammogram, then encourage others to do the same. Sure, it’s not fun but the alternative is far worse!

“Knowing the statistics is frightening enough. But it’s getting to know the people affected by breast cancer that has strengthened my resolve to fight. People like Bridget, who lost her battle with breast cancer before the age of 30, and Mary, a close family friend fighting this battle every day in her mid-70s.”

She certainly embodies her favorite quote from Shakespeare, “Though she but little, she is fierce.” We are so lucky to have Jennifer and her fierce drive on our team.

Want to know more about coach Jennifer? Here are some other random facts:

  • My two yellow labs, Maya and Biggs, are my favorite buddies on this earth! I’m happiest during our daily sunrise walks around the lake in our neighborhood.
  • I find organic gardening very cool, although I wish I had more of a knack for it.
  • My career started in the TV newsroom (many years ago!), writing scripts for our anchors morning, noon, night and yes, overnight.
  • When I work out, you’re more apt to find me rolling around on a yoga mat than working up a sweat.
  • I love Excel spreadsheets!
  • These days, my all-time favorite training song is “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk. She’s fun and feisty and kind of embodies the spirit I see in our participants on event! Then of course, there’s her name 😉

Meet Jaden C., Incredible Kid and Incredible 3-Dayer

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Happy Incredible Kid Day! We have plenty of Incredible Kids as a part of our 3-Day family, so this day is always a fun and exciting one to recognize the future of our pink family. They are the next generation of walkers, crew members, supporters and more. Every kid who joins this journey is making a difference towards reaching Komen’s Bold Goal.

One amazing (or incredible!) example of that is Jaden C. from the Atlanta 3-Day. He started off as a walker stalker, then Youth Corps member, and is now walking the full 60 miles alongside his “Nana” Gwen this year. This journey, she says, is all part of a promise that Jaden made to her years ago.

“I am overcome with pride to see Jaden’s continued commitment and dedication to the fight to end breast cancer! I could not have imagined he would ever be walking the 3-Day. He kept the promise he made as a new Youth Corps member years ago, which was to walk the 60 mile 3-Day as soon as he was old enough!”

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Nana was also the catalyst in Jaden’s joining the Youth Corps in his younger years. She encouraged him to apply, and he says he was “lucky” to be accepted. Since then, he has made friends and new family on the 3-Day.

Jaden says, “My Youth Corps involvement was an amazing experience over the past several years. I have met so many friends that I now consider family. We stay in touch and have formed a bond that can never be broken. Participation in the Youth Corps has changed my perspectives about commitment, dedication, determination and leadership in many areas of my life.

It’s personal and means so much to me in ways that many people wouldn’t understand. My Youth Corps friends promised we would someday all walk together as a team. I’ve wanted to walk for years and to finally be so close to doing so means the world to me. I can’t wait!”

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He is only months away from walking his first 60-mile 3-Day, and Jaden has already begun training and preparing. This spring, he will use his Track and Field practices to help sneak in extra training and has no doubt he will meet, or even exceed, his fundraising goals. He is motivated to keep his promise to his Nana, and all the walkers he has supported in years past.

“The camaraderie of people, the environment, the overall family affair aspect of the 3-Day, the celebration throughout Atlanta, and keeping my promise…That’s all what I’m most looking forward to.”

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Jaden truly is More Than Pink.

But, when we asked him who is More Than Pink in his own life, Jaden’s answer was easy. It all came back to his Nana.

“My grandmother (my Nana) is more than pink! She works hard for our family on a constant basis regardless of how she may feel. She’s battled through breast cancer before and, years prior to her diagnosis, lost her sister (who she watched battle this disease on more than one occasion), and she has had to adjust to a “new normal.” She encourages other survivors who now come to her with concerns and questions about her experience.

She has continued to walk and support the 3-Day for years. Nana and I walked together as 20-milers last year as the VA DUO! It was a privilege and pleasure to team up with her to walk in my aunt Debbie’s memory and in my Nana’s honor as a survivor. We crossed the finish line as a family along with Pink Angel Divas!

I will be her legs and strength this year! The journey is not over!”

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Gwen echoes his excitement, love and support.

“I am so proud of this young man who has fought to overcome so many obstacles in life. I believe his determination and outlook can be attributed, in part, to the experiences and lessons learned as part of the 3-Day family!

We (his family) are all so proud of him for embarking on this incredible journey for such a worthy cause because for us, IT’S PERSONAL!”

We are honored to be a part of your journey, Jaden and Gwen. We can’t wait to see you take on those incredible 60 miles in October in Atlanta.

Black History Month Highlight: Margie W., Atlanta 3-Day Walker

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Meet “Miss Pink” – Margie W., who represents the 3-Day all year long; not just in her pink wardrobe, but in her sparkling enthusiasm. She has participated in fourteen 3-Day events since 2005, raised more than $32,000 (not including all the donations she has made to teammates over the years), and promotes the 3-Day spirit in every step of her life, not just those she takes on her yearly 60-mile journey.

Margie told us her story, her goal, and why it’s so important for the African American community to participate in the 3-Day. As we celebrate Black History Month, we also celebrate Margie and her vital message.

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Because she lost her favorite cousin to breast cancer, and because her sister is now a more than twenty-year survivor of the disease, Margie encourages everyone she knows to be on the lookout for early signs of breast cancer, to get their mammograms, and work to make every difference that they can.

“As an African American woman, it is so important to me to walk.”

And walk she does! When the 3-Day came to Atlanta in 2005, Margie says she was “over the rainbow” about making that sixty-mile journey. She has walked in other breast cancer walks, and has walked the 3-Day in other cities, but she keeps coming back to the 3-Day.

“When I started, I told myself I was only going to walk three years and I was going to be out of there. But I became addicted! I keep telling my donors it’s going to be my last year, but then every year, I call them again and say, “I lied. I’m walking again!”

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At almost 67 years old, she has been walking through knee pain for the last few years, but is going through treatment to try and walk this year if she can. But no matter what, she will crew. And she’s already begun fundraising!

“I already have $600 in my book. I am always raising money! That way, I can be there no matter what!”

For people who need help hitting their fundraising goals, Margie has plenty of ideas, but her #1 tip is simple: Just ask.

“ASK. ASK. ASK. I keep donation letters at work, in my car, in my purse. Anytime someone tells me I look pretty in my pink, I ask them! I’m always ready. I take whatever they give me. I could be in line at the grocery store, and if someone says something about all my pink, I tell them about the 3-Day.

I also used the 3-Day app last year. I sent out no letters, but I used the app and I was amazed! My thing is, you cannot just sign up, and throw fundraising on the back burner. You have not because you ask not. Ask!”

Her team, Tutu’s for Tatas, has also used fashion shows and a “Breast Cancer Mustang” event to help raise money. They were one of the first teams in 3-Day history to hit the million-dollar mark, and that’s thanks to dedicated fundraisers like Margie.

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She always donates to her teammates and fellow walkers who are struggling to meet their goals, and accepts any donation, no matter how small. That includes donations that are less than a dollar!

“The smallest donation I ever had was 37 cents. I was on a 12-mile training walk, and I stopped to use the bathroom. A little girl named Megan stopped and talked to me, and I told her I was walking for breast cancer. And she gave me thirty-seven cents, so I wrote a check for that thirty-seven cents and sent it in.”

To her, every cent, and every step makes a difference. Because she knows that all that work goes to helping people in need.

“It’s about seeing the symptoms, getting your mammograms. [..] There is a lot of help here! There are so many charities and help. That’s why people like me walk so hard and work and fundraise!”

She says that, “by the grace of god, I’m not a survivor, but I am a supporter” and she wants to support Komen’s Bold Goal as long as she can.

So, if you see her in Atlanta this year, give Miss Pink a big hug, and thank her for all her hard work.