“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!

Tell Us Why YOU #Commit3Days …You Could Win FREE Airfare to a 2019 3-Day!

We want to know what makes you #Commit3Days and fight breast cancer as a part of the 3-Day. We want to hear your stories, goals, memories and more. And we want to hear it directly from YOU!

Take a note from the 3-Dayers in these videos, and create a video telling us why you COMMIT 3 DAYS. Upload your video HERE and then start spreading the word! Share the link on social media, in your email signature or even by texting it to your friends and family, asking them to vote. Every vote counts! That’s because the top 5 videos with the most votes by April 15th at 10 AM EST will win FREE round-trip airfare to the 2019 3-Day of their choice. What are you waiting for?!

You can create the video on your phone. It doesn’t have to be professional, it just has to be personal. The more stories we share, the more motivation we will build as our 2019 3-Days approach.

If you need inspiration for your video, check out these stories from other 3-Dayers…

 

 

 

Now get filming! Submit your video HERE and send it out to get votes! The clock is ticking down to April 15th at 10 AM EST.

Already have your airfare? Did you know you can gift the flight to someone else? A friend who wants to walk in another city but needs help with airfare. A crew member who could use a boost. Make your video today and make someone else’s day tomorrow!

2018 San Diego 3-Day Route Preview

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Our final 3-Day of the year is this weekend, and we are so excited to be heading back to the West Coast for the 2018 San Diego 3-Day. As the date fast approaches, we are giving a sneak peek at our 60-mile route, which will immerse walkers in the beautiful sights of San Diego and celebrate the final walk of the year.

Event Manager Meredith Parker walked her first 3-Day in San Diego years ago, so she (along with our whole San Diego coaching team) is very happy to welcome all of our participants next weekend.

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It will all begin at the Del Mar Fairgrounds once again, which was just home to the Breeder’s Cup race, and is a source of great local pride and excitement. This Opening Ceremony site has become a favorite for participants and supporters alike, and we’re excited to once again kick off our journey here.

Meredith enthuses, “It’s a great, festive location that’s home to a lot of iconic events for the city. Such a big, open space that’s perfect for us!”

After the Opening Ceremony, we will be making our way through Del Mar, which is always so welcoming to our walkers! Make sure to keep an eye out for the Toast Lady! After lunch at the picturesque Kellogg Park, we will enter La Jolla and spend Friday afternoon walking through that area, including passing Pacific Beach.

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We will finish the day at our camp site at Crown Point Shores, which has been a wonderful location for the last few years.

Meredith says, “It’s along the shoreline of Siesta Bay so you’ll get beautiful views! The residents of Crown Point have been so welcoming us for more than a decade, and we can’t wait to bring our sea of pink back to the park.”

Coach Staci echoes that, saying the whole team works year-round to maintain “meaningful and cooperative relationships with all of our sites, keeping walker safety and enjoyment as the top priority.”

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It’s the perfect spot nestled in the nature of the park that will be excellent to celebrate at 3-Day Main Street (Who is excited for those Bank of America massage chairs?!), as well as being a great camping grounds for a restful night’s sleep.

We will spend Saturday in San Diego proper, including a stop at Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach South for Pit Stop 1. There will be lots of local cheering stations on Day 2, as well as calming nature walks through Tecolote Shores, Mission Bay Park and De Anza Cove Park.

Then on Day 3, we’ll be back in San Diego for stop at Fanuel Street Park and Bonita Cove before lunch. Coach Staci says all the lunch spots throughout the weekend are picturesque and relaxing spots, so walkers can look forward to that all weekend long.

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Day 3 only has 15.5 miles on the route, so it will be quick and fun for our walkers! Pioneer Park and Balboa Park will also be great spots for photos and fun!

Our 60-mile journey ends at our Closing Ceremony, which once again will be at Waterfront Park.

Meredith explains, “It’s right on the harbor, across the street from Embarcadero, which is a waterfront area that hosts the Maritime Museum and the Star of India full-rigged sailing ship.”

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The park is relatively new to the San Diego landscape and is close to Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter, which are perfect places to celebrate with friends and family after your 60-mile journey! There will be plenty of amazing photo ops so get your selfie smiles ready 😊

We are so excited to celebrate with San Diego all weekend long and end our 2018 3-Day season making bold strides together towards a cure for breast cancer. We have had Bold Goals for 2018 and beyond, and all of you are helping us take important steps towards achieving them.

 

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