The Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

IMG_1927.JPG

We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony to kick off our final 3-Day of the year. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

IMG_1912.JPG

Kathy Giller – My Husband

For the past 12 years, the 3-Day has been our army of love and hope. We have walked literally thousands of miles with many of you, to bring us closer to a world without breast cancer. This is my 18th walk and usually, I’m standing out there with all of you.  My husband, Lee, was the one who would be on this stage. I would look up at him so proudly as he humbly served as the unofficial 3-Day face of male breast cancer. Lee would share his story with dozens of people along the route, reminding us that breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease. My name is Kathy and instead of walking hand-in-hand with Lee, I will be carrying him in my heart and in my memory. Lee’s life was so much More Than Pink.

IMG_1918

Greg Piers – My Family 

I walk my 5th 3-Day in honor of my family: my grandmother, aunt and cousin… all ambushed by breast cancer. I walk in honor of my family: my wife, daughters and granddaughter… who I hope never have to fight this battle. I walk in honor of you all, my 3-Day family, as we all have similar stories and share one common goal: to put an end to breast cancer. I’m Greg and I am More Than Pink.

IMG_1924

Deborah Jones – My Mother

I am from Gainesville, Florida, I walk with Cliff’s Crew and this is my 6th walk, the 2nd in San Diego. I am walking in memory of my mother, Josephine Jones, who died from breast cancer at the age of 40 when I was still a teenager in 11th grade. I also lost my dear sister to breast cancer twenty-nine years ago; she was only 37. Both gone too soon! I’m Deborah and I am More Than Pink.

IMG_1905

Chris Laws – My Sister
I walk this, my second 3-Day, for my sister, Jennifer. I’ve found this verse from Proverbs best describes her: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Jennifer’s fight ended October 4th, 2015, but her courageous heart and infectious laugh resonates with all those who met her. I’m Jennifer’s brother Chris, I walk in her memory, and I am More Than Pink.

IMG_1903

 

Sarah Hillstead – Myself

I crew because I never want anyone to go through what I have gone through since being diagnosed in 2002. I have seen some dear friends lose their battles with this disease and I never want anyone to get the diagnosis of breast cancer. I also crew to celebrate with my friends who have beaten this nasty disease. I crew because I never want to have to look my precious niece and nephew in the face and tell them another family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m Sarah and I am More Than Pink.

IMG_1897.JPG

Terry Sue Hegburg – My Friend

I walk for my best friend Rae Jobson, who spoke bravely on this stage just one year ago about her fight against this horrible disease. Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Rae on September 29th. Although she will not be physically walking beside us this year, we know she will be with us in spirit. We promised Rae to continue the fight until there is a world without Breast Cancer.  I’m Terry and I am More Than Pink.

IMG_1915.JPG

Sally Dunbar – Ceremony Host

It has been 12 years since I got my diagnosis. I am here today because of the results of the research from the women before me, who were also diagnosed―research funded in part by Susan G. Komen.

So I walk for myself. I walk in memory of my Aunt Margaret, and my daughter’s mother-in-law, Char Jamieson. I walk in memory of our teammate Wendy Nesbitt, who lost her battle three months after the 2015 San Diego walk. And I walk for my daughters, your daughters, and for all of our granddaughters.

I’m Sally, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 San Diego 3-Day!

IMG_1907

Meet 3-Dayer and Survivor Diana Reid

Resized_IMG_20161008_131511

We are constantly honored and in awe of the strength and passion we see from all our 3-Day participants. We always endeavor to provide special support and love to our community of survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer. They are the strength that gives walkers extra motivation, and keep us inspired all year long to continue working towards Komen’s Bold Goal.

2013-10-209513.01.24 (002)

One such survivor is Diana Reid, who has walked 11 3-Day events in Atlanta, many of them side-by-side with her family.

She began walking in 2007 after being diagnosed the year prior with Stage 3 Triple Negative breast cancer. Her daughter walked with her then, and they were joined in 2009 by Diana’s sister, who had received her own breast cancer diagnosis that year. By 2015, Diana’s daughter-in-law had also joined the 3-Day Medical Crew, and Diana’s younger sister had crewed the Atlanta 3-Day as well.

22448434_10214319545879297_6237216580595992576_n

She says, “The support we get at the 3-Day is incredible! Not only by the crew and staff, but by the community as well. It makes you feel like you are doing something important. Because so many of my family members have been affected by breast cancer I feel a great need to try and contribute any way I can to find a cure.”

The 3-Day weekend is truly a family affair for Diana. That is because so much of her family has been touched by breast cancer, and benefited from Komen-supported research and grants.

22448474_10214303232871482_1771103989586356006_n

In January of this year, Diana got the call telling her that there was a lesser-known rad51c gene mutation that has been linked to ovarian and breast cancer, and that she had this mutation. She later discovered that her father, daughter and younger sister all also had the mutation.

Since then, she has undergone a complete hysterectomy and a double mastectomy. Her daughter also had double mastectomy as a preventative measure.

“I have always believed that the funds raised by the 3-Day for research are important, but this year that has really hit home for me and my family. Not only has research enabled me to cut my chances of a re-occurrence by 99% but it has also enabled my daughter to cut her chances of a diagnosis.”

Resized_20161007_120411

That’s why they are going to keep creating memories together as they continue to walk in what Diana calls an “overwhelming and incredibly fun” weekend. They are all already excited for 2018 and to return to “the excitement on the faces of the staff, walkers and crew from the moment it starts until the moment it ends.”

Most importantly, they are never going to give up.

Diana promises, “We will all continue to participate in the 3-Day as long as we are able or until a cure is found.”

22498955_1652525181470934_4556669439134860_o

Getting Down to the Business of Fighting Back – Carla’s Story

Carla Kelley, who will be walking the 3-Day for the fifth time in San Diego this November, shared her inspiring story with us. #WeAreThe3Day

“In January 2006, at the age of 34, I felt I finally had it all. I had a wonderful man, a career that I loved and I was pregnant for the first time. In my book, things couldn’t have been better. Then on February 14, 2006, at my first pre-natal visit, a lump was found in my breast. I was scheduled right away for an ultrasound and biopsy. I thought, “It can’t be breast cancer, I’m pregnant!”

“But breast cancer doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t care if you’re young or old, rich or poor. It doesn’t care about the color of your skin or even if you’re a male or female. And it certainly doesn’t care if you’re pregnant.

“When the doctor told me that I did have breast cancer, my perfect little world came crashing down all around me and I was in complete shock. But I bounced back quickly and started getting down to the business of fighting back. I was assigned my own small army of specialists in oncology and obstetrics and we began researching treatment options. The fact that I was pregnant was going to be a challenge, as was determining what treatments I could or could not receive. Within two weeks we were able to find the answers we were looking for and on April 3, 2006, when I was well into my second trimester, I had surgery to remove the tumor.

“My surgery went well and the baby was doing great. As soon I healed from surgery I began a chemotherapy treatment that my doctors and I determined would not harm my baby. My obstetrician monitored the baby weekly during and after my treatment and she came through everything beautifully. The chemotherapy however took a toll on me and my body. I went into labor early and Hannah was born on August 9, 2006 at 35 weeks. She weighed in at 4 pounds and 13 ounces, but thankfully there were no complications whatsoever!Carla Kelley

“After giving birth I had one more surgery to make sure my margins were clear, then finished my chemotherapy. Six weeks of radiation soon followed and finally all of my treatments were at an end. I was both relieved and scared at the same time. No more poking, no more prodding, and no more being zapped…but wait, if I’m not being treated, will the cancer come back?

“To help fight back against cancer, I started participating in the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women. I loved it so much and found so much support through participating that I began running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Dodger Stadium, and started walking in the Komen 3-Day in San Diego.walk3

“It was at the 3-Day where I met the most amazing group of women and their families, and ultimately joined their team, Saving 2nd Base. Their friendship, love and support have been an incredible source of strength for me, more than they will ever know. I’ll be forever thankful for having met them: Shari, Karin, Barbara, Laurie, Carrie, Jill, Amber, Mark, Ashley. And all of the men behind these women: Bill, Rick, Norbert, Wayne and all of their children. Thank you and I love you all!

“I am now 10 years cancer-free. I’ve long since completed all of my treatments and have graduated to having blood tests only once a year now along with yearly mammograms. I will forever be so grateful to all of my friends, family, doctors and nurses for the wonderful care and support they provided for me and my baby.”walk1