Learn from 3-Dayer Catherine Stoch: Commit to the 3-Day in 2019

“To make a difference for someone else. To dispel the myths. For research. For screening. For treatment. To educate people about what Komen does for women, and men. That’s why I walk.”

Why do you walk? Everyone has a reason. This year, we are asking you to find your reason, and commit to the 3-Day. Commit to walking 60 miles in the fight against breast cancer. Commit to joining 3-Dayers like Catherine Stoch, one of our Twin Cities 3-Day survivor speakers in 2018. Commit. You won’t regret it!

Take it from Catherine. She has been walking for a decade, two of those years as a breast cancer survivor, and she’s not stopping anytime soon. In fact, she’s already signed up to join us again on the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2019!

Tell us about your 2018 journey…

Last year was full of a lot of things, like getting body parts removed to prevent cancer’s spread, lots of recovery, and reconstruction. And during ALL of this, I was completely, 100% supported by an incredible team of friends, family, medical professionals, good insurance coverage and my husband who has been by my side every step. And I know not every woman’s story is like this. That’s why I walk.

The net proceeds raised by the Susan G. Komen 3-Day help Susan G. Komen® build a world free of breast cancer through research, community, care and action. The funds raised have helped Komen‘s mission to save lives from breast cancer, by investing more than $956 million in breakthrough research and more than $2.1 billion to support people and communities most at risk through programs to provide access to screening, treatment assistance, patient navigation and education. How could I NOT walk?

What would you say to someone who is nervous about joining the 3-Day?

I was VERY nervous too, at first. Walking 60 miles and raising $2,300 is a big commitment, but as a friend of mine—who joined me as a first-time walker in 2018 shared, “You pushed me to do more than I thought I could.” I think that is what I have learned over the years of walking this—that you can do more than you think.

What are your top training tips for first-time 3-Dayers?

  1. FOLLOW the training regimen and take it seriously. If you are a runner, you may think, “Yah, I run.” But training your feet for waking, especially a long walk, is different. And another tip: buy your shoes ½ size larger than you usually wear. This was critically important to keeping my feet in much better shape. And…don’t wear NEW shoes on the walk. Your feet will suffer.
  2. Drink more water than you think you should. Over five walks, I’ve seen people be way too casual about it, and run into serious problems. Dehydration is COMPLETELY preventable on the 3-Day.
  3. Walk in all kinds of weather. You never know. I trained in heat, humidity, rain, and because I live in Minnesota, I did train in snow. Then you will be ready for whatever weather comes your way. It’s a long walk, and thorough preparation will get you ready both mentally and physically for the elements.

Komen has a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. Why is this goal so important?

On a larger scale, women’s overall health is important to me, and all my life, women’s health has been under fire, with too much interference, and not for the better. Fewer women dying from breast cancer means more healthier women globally. And there’s still such a cultural stigma about breasts, just saying the word in 2018 still makes too many people squirm. By continuing to call out breast cancer deaths raises awareness that women (and men) still DIE from this. Totally unnecessary.

What are some of your personal goals for the New Year?

Be mindful of my good health and do my best to not just take up air space on the planet, but use my time, energy and talents well. A hero of mine is John Muir, who was exceptionally passionate about the natural world stated, in part: “Most people are on the world, not in it.” I want to remain very IN, and given I have a new job in the health care sector, it’s incredibly exciting for me to utilize my job-related skills as a grant writer to promote healthy living for ALL!

 

What are YOUR goals for the New Year? Have you already committed to walking the 3-Day in 2019? Tell us your story in the comments!

 

 

Focusing on Spreading Positivity with Survivor and 3-Dayer, Elaine

When I walked across the finish line, and my son wrapped me up in a hug and whispered, “I’m so proud of you Mom,” that went straight from my ear to my heart.

If you walked the 3-Day in Seattle or Atlanta this year, you likely saw Elaine. Or heard her! She’s a solo walker known for her constant smile and jingling outfits that signal her presence even before you see her coming.

This year marked her 9th and 10th 3-Days respectively, and her first year really highlighting her survivor story as part of our partnership with Mohawk Flooring. She says that recognition was never really something she looked for, and as a solo walker, not something she always got. She flew under the radar and made her 3-Day connections in the smaller moments. This year changed that for her.

“To have Mark say ‘Hi!’ to me by name in the morning, or to see the photographer on the route, I feel like the arms have truly been opened to me and I have been fully welcomed into the fold. And I have felt that support and recognition so much this year. I’ve been able to share my story and my message this year in a different way, even after doing this for 8 years. The arms have been opened wide. It’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful welcome.”

The 3-Day family first welcomed Elaine eight years ago, when she walked her first 3-Day while in the middle of radiation. She had already signed up for the 3-Day before her diagnosis and had even sent out more than 100 fundraising letters! She knew she knew she had reached her fundraising goals and felt that she could meet her physical goals as well. Her doctor gave her approval to walk and told her to listen to her body. So, she did. And she walked every one of those 60 miles.

Along the way, she had her first welcome from the 3-Day Pink Bubble.

“I met two Crew ladies on my first walk in Seattle. I was nervous about wearing a survivor shirt and they just enveloped me in this hug. And I was bawling, and they just kept telling me that I could do this. And to be held by them, and feel that support, was everything to me.”

She has continued to have similar memories and stories over the last decade, making new friends each year and finding new strength with every step.

“Whatever you believe in, it’s a comfort to know that there’s a plan. And it’s tough to think, “How could this be part of a plan?” But meeting those ladies on my first 3-Day, or talking to women in Atlanta this year, it just shows me that these things are meant to be this way.

I’m a pretty positive person, and I try to focus on that positive outcome. So, this has been my way to do my part.”

She also does her part year-round, fundraising all year and encouraging those around her to learn about their breast health.

“I want to shake strangers and remind people to go get their mammograms! Just go do it! Early detection is everything. I talk to everybody, whether it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month or not.”

She finished her 10th walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year, and her son was there to welcome her across the finish line. Though her journey has been long and difficult, she says being a survivor has helped her find more compassion for herself daily, and that the 3-Day has shown her the worth that she brings to the world time and time again.

“It is so much more filled with compassion for me, and for anyone else who has this diagnosis. I can be so much nicer to myself, and the 3-Day helped me with that.

The universe draws us to where we need to be. The universe drew me here to the 3-Day.”

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