“Dear Cancer, you lose…”: Meet Survivor and First-Time 3-Dayer, Sylvia G.

If I had to write a letter to cancer it would read, “Dear Cancer, you lose…”

Sylvia just finished five and a half weeks of radiation after being diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her 40th birthday. Though she initially was shocked and numbed by her diagnosis, she gathered her family and friends around her and got “gangsta with cancer” by refusing to let it stop her from living her life and celebrating every minute of it.

Now, after finishing her radiation, she says, “I am feeling strong and just getting settled into my new normal. The silver lining throughout this process has been to just really LIVE because you never know! And of course, if you’re busy living, you have less time to worry about the small (or big) stuff.”

She is on the other side of one part of her breast cancer journey, but that doesn’t mean the journey is over. After her diagnosis, Sylvia did research into all of the work that Susan G. Komen does to support survivors and those living with breast cancer. This, in turn, led her to the 3-Day. She signed up immediately for the New England 3-Day and will be driving in from her hometown of Pelham, New York to walk in her first-ever 3-Day at our New England 3-Day in September. She’s already fundraised more than $3,500 and is continuing to spread the word about the 3-Day and breast health. To say that breast cancer hasn’t slowed her down is an understatement! But don’t take it from us! Sylvia is here to share her story in her own words…

Tell us your breast cancer story…

I had just turned 40 when my world was turned upside down. I received a call I never expected.

“You have breast cancer.”

And just like that I was numb. The music stopped, and the party was over.

While still in shock, my family immediately took me to my mom’s breast surgeon. She had just finished treatment for stage 1 breast cancer the year before and was a total champion throughout it all, I might add. I was able to get positive preliminary information specific to my breast cancer which helped me start to feel the ground a bit.

We decided to go for several other opinions with breast surgeons and reconstruction surgeons. After choosing the team I felt most comfortable with, we opted for the nipple sparing double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. My diagnosis after surgery ended up being stage 2 breast cancer that had spread to one lymph node. I learned that I would have to have four rounds of chemo plus radiation.

In the days leading up to my first round of chemo, I kept reflecting on how blessed I am to live in a time of so many medical breakthroughs as well as options for treatment of breast cancer. This is when I realized that I needed to be part of helping to continue these advancements and fight to end breast cancer.

And how did this journey lead you to the 3-Day?

I had read online about Susan G. Komen and how much they have done for research, education, screening and treatment. I knew I had found the right match for my mission to bring us closer to a cure so that so many other people, including my children, will not have to suffer through this. I was gearing up to get gangsta with cancer!

And you have! You’ve been very successful with your fundraising efforts!

I immediately started my fundraising by following all the tips on the 3-Day website. Posting on Facebook, personally emailing all my family and friends, remembering to always send thank you emails as well as follow up emails and telling people about corporate matching gifts. At the end of the day, I really am so blessed to have generous and caring people in my life, some of who also have been impacted by this disease, and I am forever grateful for their support.

Though I have had success in fundraising there does come a point that you have to get creative to be able to keep getting donations outside of just family and friends. One way is to go through all your contacts and see who has a business or works for a company that can partner up with you to create a fundraiser. This in turn allows you to use their resources and reach a larger audience to support your cause.

So far, I am very proud of how much I’ve been able to raise, and I am really looking forward to meeting other survivors, hearing their stories of fearlessness, as well as bonding with my team. I can only imagine that feeling of accomplishment after finishing the 3-Day walk!

What are some of your other 3-Day goals?

I want to reach as many people as possible and remind them of the importance of getting regular mammograms because early detection of breast cancer can make the disease easier to treat. I will also continue to stay focused on my health and positivity so that I can be my best self.

I still have a long way to go but since becoming a survivor I don’t think I can ever justify sweating the small stuff.

I have been dealt a couple bad hands but at the end I plan on winning the game!

Meet Your New Coach for the New England 3-Day, Coach Sharyn

It all started on a big birthday. In 2006, Sharyn was turning 60, and her daughter-in-law invited her to join her 3-Day team. And Sharyn thought, “Why not?”

Now, more than a decade later, she has walked in Boston and other 3-Day cities and joined the 3-Day team as your New England Coach for 2019! As soon she heard that the 3-Day would be returning to Boston, she knew she had to get more involved.

“Boston is my home walk and when it came back this year, I reached out to the powers to be and applied to be a coach. The 3-Day really needed ‘boots on the ground’ and I was contacted to see if I was interested in the coaching position…. Yes, I am! And here we are. 😊”

She is so excited to be returning to her 3-Day family in a new way. Though she has walked in many cities over the years, she is ready to welcome 3-Dayers back to Boston.

“Some of my favorite memories are reconnecting with 3-Day friends you’ve met along the way; strangers who became friends and who’ve truly touched your heart. I’ve walked in many cities and crewed in others and it always excites me to see the beautiful faces and reconnect. I know that’s going to be a huge event in Boston!”

Aside from all the welcome friendship and love, Sharyn wants to get the rest of the walkers and crew excited about some other aspects of the weekend:

  • We will be staying in hotels and that’s become a huge attraction for a lot of walkers…especially some of the more seasoned veterans.
  • I also think the route, this year, will have our walkers and crew very excited…especially people who’ve never visited our city before.

With both of those in mind, it’s time to start getting ready and pumped for the New England 3-Day. As a veteran herself, Sharyn has tried and true advice for your training plans.

“I always tell people who start their training to start where they are most comfortable. It’s sort of like that old saying, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!’ 😉 Start small, start now and build your distance each week. I think if you can easily do a 10-mile walk with no issues, you’ll be just fine. Do a few long walks each week and be sure to train on different inclines. Not every city is flat, so you need to be prepared for hills. Building your way up on a variety of terrains will have you more than ready!”

But always feel free to reach out for help! Sharyn is already helping walkers and crew out on her New England 3-Day Coaches Facebook Page, and encourages everyone to reach out with anything “from complicated issues to silly ones. Pick up the phone and call or drop us an email or Facebook message. Nothing is too small…especially if it concerns you.”

She understands all your concerns because she’s been there! She’s walked 25 events, crewed 6 times and raised approximately $85,000 over her time with the 3-Day. And she’s just getting started!

“Committing three days is a lot to ask when it involves walking 60 miles and raising $2,300…but it’s so much easier than a breast cancer diagnosis. The commitment is the easy part when it’s important to you. Make the commitment. And I’ll see you in New England in September!”

 

For tips about healthy living, click here for advice and support to keep you on track for the 3-Day and beyond. http://the3day.co/amgen2019. Thanks to the support of Amgen and in partnership with American Bone Health, the Healthy Living series was designed to prepare your mind, body and bones for the 3-Day.

20 Reasons to Join the 3-Day in 2019

The reasons to join the 3-Day are endless. Truly! Everyone gains something different on this amazing journey, and everyone comes back year after year for their own reasons. If you need a bit more motivation to join our 3-Day family in 2019, we have a few all-encompassing reasons to #Commit3Days and join the 3-Day NOW!

(Hint: Make sure to read to the end for a special discount code 😊)

  1. Meeting new people: One of the best parts of the 3-Day is the “Pink Bubble” made up of every member of our 3-Day family. Even if you’re walking on your own, you will finish the weekend with scores of new friends.
  2. Outdoor camp: Glamping in pink tents. Sleeping under the stars. Being super close to to all your teammates. There is also so much to love about our outdoor camps in Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego! There’s really no wrong choice (except not joining at all).
  3. Hotel camp: Air conditioning. Charging plugs galore. Real beds and pillows and showers. There is so much to love about our new hotel camps in Michigan, Twin Cities, New England and Philadelphia! (New England 3-Day registration is closed, but you can still register as a 20-Mile walker!)
  4. Seeing all the sights: 60 miles is quite the distance. So, even if you’re walking in your own home city, chances are you’ll get to see some new and unique parts of your hometown on the 3-Day weekend.
  5. Tons of treats: You will be active and moving all 3-Day weekend-long, which makes it very important that we keep you hydrated and fueled. Pit stops, water stations, lunches and dinners are all full of delicious bites like Grahamwiches and the famous 3-Day Mac n’ Cheese.
  6. The 3-Day coaches: We must give a shout out to the people who make it happen. Your 3-Day coaches are here to encourage, advise, support and be there for you every step of your 3-Day journey. From the moment you sign up until you cross that finish line, they will be your champions.
  7. An excuse for shopping: You’re going to need some new gear to display on all those training walks, and especially on the 3-Day weekend! People go all out with their 3-Day outfits, rocking everything from feathered wings to our very own 3-Day T-Rex. You better start shopping now!
  8. Get moving: Many people have the goal to get more steps in, move more in their everyday lives or get in better shape. While we have walkers of all shapes, sizes, and ages, you can use the 3-Day to help fuel your next fitness goal.
  9. Finding new tunes: While you’re out moving and grooving away, you’re going to need some music to fuel your journey. The 3-Day has its own Spotify account to get you started on musical inspiration, but you can also make your own! You’ll be surprised how much good music will improve your mood. Just remember to keep it safe and don’t wear earphones on the 3-Day or our official training walks.
  10. Getting some quality time: If music isn’t your jam, don’t worry. The 3-Day is also a great chance to get quality time with the friends and family who are walking with you…or with yourself. Make sure to take some time on your walk to reflect. Check in with yourself and acknowledge what an amazing thing you’re doing.
  11. Testing your limits: It’s important to remember the whole journey, not just the final destination. This walk will test you emotionally and physically, but also give you such a feeling of accomplishment at the end.
  12. It’s tutu-friendly: And not just tutus! We also love wigs and bedazzled bras and team t-shirts and more! You will be smiling all weekend long thanks to all of the extra special flair. 😊
  13. For the gram: It seems that more and more people are doing things “for the gram” these days, and while getting a good photo shouldn’t be your sole motivation for joining the 3-Day, we can promise some epic photos for your social media feeds.
  14. To spice up your Bucket List: If the 3-Day isn’t on your bucket list yet, it should be! Not many people can say they’ve walked 60 miles in one weekend, after all.
  15. Re-connecting with nature: The 3-Day route will take you through all sorts of cool sights, including some amazing parks, trails and watersides. Don’t miss them! Our host cities are all unique and wonderful in their own special ways, so take in everything they have to offer.
  16. That feeling of accomplishment: There truly is no feeling like crossing that 60-mile finish line and knowing that your commitment has made a HUGE impact in the fight to end breast cancer. You have trained, fundraised, volunteered time and energy, and it all comes to a peak in that moment. There is nothing like it.
  17. Be inspired: As we said before, there is nothing like this experience. Hearing from our breast cancer survivor speakers, meeting those who have lost loved ones or been saved by Susan G. Komen-funded research; all these experiences will leave you feeling motivated and inspired.
  18. Make a difference: Since its founding in 1982, Susan G. Komen has funded more than $988M in research and more than $2.2 billion in education, screening and treatment. The net proceeds raised by the 3‑Day help Susan G. Komen build a world free of breast cancer through research, community, care and action.
  19. Join the family: Being a part of the 3-Day makes you a part of our family, and an integral part of the fight against breast cancer. You will become part of something that is larger than yourself and make a true difference in the world around you.
  20. You can do this! More than 500,000 participants have supported the breast cancer community, including those living with metastatic breast cancer, since the 3-Day began. You can be a part of all that! Yes, walking 60 miles is hard, but it’s not as hard as breast cancer. Come walk with us. You can do it.