Debbie S. is More Than Pink — Meet a Survivor & New 3-Day Walker

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As our 2018 3-Day season draws closer and closer, we are welcoming past AVON 39 walkers into our 3-Day® family. We want to show them the 3-Day love, because they are a wonderful addition to our cause and they are More Than Pink®.

Debbie S., will also be a proud member of our survivor and those living with metastatic breast cancer community when she joins the San Diego 3-Day in November.

Debbie was officially declared cancer-free in 2005, and since then has been an active crusader for a cure for breast cancer, as well as a staunch supporter and inspiration for those undergoing their own treatment.

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She participated in her first AVON 39 while still bald from her own treatment, and has walked in six AVON 39’s since then. She has also spoken at a breast cancer charity event in Los Angeles, A Cause for Entertainment, and was featured in Avon’s commercial last year. To say she lives to be a part of the fight against breast cancer is an understatement.

“It is so important to keep walking and raising funds for research and awareness! This is what is going to ultimately help cure this disease! Everyone knows about the strides that organizations, such as Susan G. Komen and Avon, have made and I am often asked why other cancers don’t do the same things. My answer is always: They should, you should! Raising funds and awareness is the most important thing!”

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That is why Debbie knew she could not hang up her walking shoes in 2018. She had to keep going, and was excited to join the 3-Day family. Her excitement extends towards fundraising, which she says was one of the things that drew her to the 3-Day in the first place.

“I’m actually most excited about raising more money and walking with others who are doing it for the same reasons I am: a cure! I’m always excited to show everyone how you can beat breast cancer and persevere. Nothing can stop us if we are determined!”

She is determined, in fact, to raise $25,000 this year alone, and has already raised almost $3,000 in the first 24 hours after registering. Though she says she began her fundraising journey with “The mentality that the minimum was enough,” she soon realized that “It is never enough! With every walk, my goal is to beat my last walk!”

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How does she do it? With the same passion and exuberance that has stayed with her throughout her breast cancer journey. She starts via email, sending messages to everyone in her address book (whether she knows them or not!) as well as to any emails she can collect from friends and family. She begins emailing at least six months before her walk, also using social media to kickstart her efforts.

After that, she sends reminder emails to everyone who has not donated on the first of each month. As the event approaches, she will kick it up another notch.

“About two months before the walk, I will start sending it every two weeks. The last month, I will send it every week and eventually daily! I break them all down! They all give! I also upload my letter, with my story, to my personal page for the walk.”

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Simple, but effective, is her approach, and one that has shown great success in the past. This is not just how she approaches fundraising, but how she approaches life in general.

“Being a survivor means everything to me! It means that being strong and having a positive attitude goes a long way! It means I can assure others that they can survive too! Because I am proof!”

If you see Debbie on the 3-Day route in San Diego, say hello and share a hug! She is walking solo this year, but can’t wait to meet new friends and share her story and dream of a world without breast cancer.

Siblings Side by Side: Meet Kathy and Chuck of Robb’s Ralliers at the Twin Cities 3-Day

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Our siblings can be our best friends that stick by our sides through all the years to come. They know our secrets, share memories, cheer us on and (sometimes) drive us a little crazy. But they’re family. We are lucky to have many siblings of all ages walking together on 3-Days across the country, and today, for Sibling’s Day, we are highlighting a special family duo: Kathy and Chuck H. from the Twin Cities 3-Day.

Kathy is a survivor, and has been a dedicated 3-Dayer since its first year in the Twin Cities in 2004. After being her “biggest cheerleader” that first year, Chuck joined his sister in 2005, and they have been walking together ever since.

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Kathy says, “Chuck and I have always had an amazing relationship.  The three days of the walk each year just give us time to connect in person and remind each other just how lucky we are!”

They truly show that family luck and support, adding Kathy’s daughter Megan to their team, Robb’s Ralliers, in 2016 after she was a three-time Youth Corps member, and last year Chuck’s son Cody also walked with their family. The rest of the clan comes out in full force to support Robb’s Ralliers all along the route with signs and cheers.

“We were raised in a strong family environment and taught that being there for your family is just something that you do.  The 3-Day is just a personification of this belief,” Chuck says.

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“While not all our family members walk, our entire family participates in some manner.  For me it is less about the lessons that I can learn and more about passing along values to my children.  My son, Cody, was a first-time walker in 2017 and will be back for 2018.  I have seen his commitment to the cure strengthen his relationship with his Aunt “Kate” and I can’t tell you how proud he makes me.  My daughter, Elanore, is twelve years old and she has never not known the 3-Day.”

In addition to their children, spouses, and family members, their parents continue to be Chuck and Kathy’s biggest supporters.

“Our parents are our biggest supporters, and are there for us from Opening to Closing Ceremonies.  For the Robbs, the 3-Day is an annual tradition.  It is all about commitment, strength, support, perseverance, and love and our family members all have their own way of showing the importance of these values,” Chuck explains.

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These values extend off the 3-Day trail and into the everyday life of their family as well. This is thanks to, of course, their own family, but also the family they have built in the Twin Cities 3-Day.

Even after 13 years of walking, Kathy still lights up talking about her pink bubble. “The Twin Cities 3-Day is filled with so many wonderful people—repeat walkers, repeat crew members and repeat staff members.  Everyone has an amazing story to share […]  The beauty of the Twin Cities and the weather in August is a bonus.  For me, it’s all about the people—coming together every year for three days—so many laughs, many tears shed and so much love!”

Both Kathy and Chuck say that the love and lessons they experience on the 3-Day enforce the foundation of love built throughout their family, and in their own relationship. Chuck calls Kathy “the strongest person I know and second place isn’t even close,” saying, “her will to fight and persevere never ceases to amaze me.” In turn, Kathy praises Chuck’s “huge heart and deep-rooted love for his family” …plus his amazing hugs!

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Both siblings are already signed up for the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2018, and Kathy will also be walking her second year in San Diego. Though they might not walk every mile side by side, you can bet they are cheering each other on, crossing the finish line as a family that will never quit.

Happy Sibling’s Day to Kathy, Chuck, and all our 3-Day sibling participants! If you walk with your sibling, share your favorite 3-Day memories with them below!

And, for more stories about siblings, visit this piece about the Cummings sisters.

Motivation Monday: Get Inspired with Stories from 3-Day Survivors and Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

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To start off the week on the right foot, sometimes you need a little motivation. Mondays can be tough, but it’s important to remember the Bold Goal we are all working towards every day. There are no better people to remind us of this fact than our 3-Day family of survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer. We are proud to honor them at every 3-Day, and even more proud to hear why they continue to walk. Read on for their words of inspiration…

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Lisa P. from the San Diego 3-Day

“I walk with pride, humility, sadness for others who have lost the fight.”

Jen C. from Michigan

“I’ve been a 3-Day walker since 2011, but my reasons for walking have changed now that I’m a new survivor. I now walk to honor and give back to the community that has helped me get through my own breast cancer diagnosis. My 3-Day family has been there for me every step of the way, and I’m eternally grateful for the 3-Day bringing them into my life. <3”

Lori W. from Ohio

“I am a two-year survivor. I am walking to have a world without breast cancer. I don’t want my daughter, daughter-in-law, my sister, my mom my granddaughters, my sisters-in-law, nieces, cousins, friends to ever have to go through what I went through.”

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Michigan 3-Day Coach Jennifer

“I walk because, quite simply, I can. I am now 10 years cancer free and alive and healthy enough to walk, so I it’s something I must do.”

Stacey R. from the Twin Cities 3-Day

“I know that I would not still be around without the research support from Komen and other organizations that has given me the treatment options I have now. I want to pay this forward through continuing to raise awareness and funds for Komen and participate in the 3-Day walks.”

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Mandy H. from the Seattle 3-Day

“I am a survivor with three daughters. I walk to bring awareness to this disease, express the importance in finding a cure, and to remind people to be diligent in being checked.”

Liz B. from Philadelphia

“I signed up for my first 3-Day eight years ago when I was recovering from my mastectomies. Walking 60 miles became a personal goal. I continue to walk and crew each year because I’ve found a second family in the 3-Day. I will keep walking or crewing until there is no more need to do so.”

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Do you have your own story as a survivor or someone living with metastatic breast cancer? Share it in the comments!