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

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony as the sun started to rise on a perfect fall day on the West Coast. 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.

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Troy Richards – My Wife

I walk for Misty, my wife, and the mother of our two boys. She is the rock and foundation of our family. Her attitude and perseverance should be an inspiration to anyone affected by such an invasive disease. I also walk for women and men still battling to stay healthy and safe. I’m Troy and I am More Than Pink.

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Cathy Parsell – My Friend  

I’m walking to honor my friend, Carole, a fierce warrior in the animal rescue community. She used that same warrior attitude when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She boldly showed breast cancer that she was More than Pink and won the battle. We love you, Carole! I’m Cathy and I am More Than Pink.

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Veronica Claudio – My Mother

I am walking in memory of my sweet momma, Claudia Claudio, who is truly the definition of an angel. She taught me to LOVE life and find the joy in every day, to always turn the radio up when Rick Springfield is playing, and what true courage and strength look like. She will forever be remembered for her signature dimples, her bright light, and the legacy that she left that still lives on today. I’m Veronica and I am More Than Pink.

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Holly Raissipour – My Children
It is continually my honor to walk the 3-Day as a survivor all the way from Boston. I am humbled and amazed at the continued generosity, support and love of people. This year is my 8th year and 11th walk, and all three of my daughters, my husband and all my friends support and cheer me on from afar to help find a world where no one will ever hear again the words: “You have breast cancer.” I’m Holly and I am More Than Pink.

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Heather Jellerson – My Sister

I am walking for my sister, Kimberly Valerine Holmes. Kim lost her fight, but worked so hard to laugh her way through it. I’m participating today because her strength inspires me to walk so that others may have a better chance to win their fight with breast cancer. I’m Heather and I am More Than Pink.

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Lauren Leiker – My Aunt

In 2005, I walked my first 3-Day for my Aunt Barb. Today, I walk again for my aunt, a two-time survivor, and for all who have fought and are still fighting breast cancer. I’m Lauren and I am More Than Pink.

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Dena McLauchlin – Ceremony Host

I walk for an amazing friend who lost her courageous battle six years ago. I made a promise to her that day that I would do everything I could to keep fighting to end breast cancer. Since Jean passed, I have had four friends lose their courageous fight―two in just the last three months. So as I begin my 14th walk here in Seattle, I will dedicate these 60 miles to all my friends who were sent home too early, to my two aunts who also fought this fight but earned their wings, to all my friends who are currently fighting, and to all my friends who will fight. I’m Dena, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Seattle 3-Day!

 

Meet Lisa Partner, 3-Day Walker- and Breast Cancer Survivor

June is National Cancer Survivor Month, and is an excellent reminder of the strength, power and optimism we see from survivors on the 3-Day, and in all our own lives.

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We’d like to introduce you to Lisa Partner, a 3-Dayer and training walk leader from the Powered by Optimism team in San Diego. Lisa is a 12-year metastatic breast cancer survivor who has raised more than $23,000 for the 3-Day since her first walk in 2007.

 

Lisa found a lump in her breast when her daughter was only three months old, and after many doctors’ visits, tests and more, was finally diagnosed in early 2005. Her daughter was only 18 months old. From her initial discovery to her diagnosis, she admits that “cancer never really was in my thought process,” but it soon became a part of her everyday life.

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A few months after her first surgery, Lisa explains “It was found that my cancer had spread to a single rib on the right side of my body. I was then restaged as metastatic. Due to restaging I will be on Herceptin indefinitely. After pondering my thoughts for a few months, I decided to have my right breast and ovaries removed.”

That initial reconstruction did not go smoothly, but Lisa has since seen more success with following reconstruction surgeries. Through it all, she has remained strong for herself and her family. Marianne Masterson, San Diego 3-Day coach, has sung Lisa’s praises for that immeasurable strength.

“Not only has Lisa confronted the trials associated with surgery and treatment, but also the stark odds that her daughter may be growing up without a mother. Lisa’s attitude was to do everything possible to stay alive to ensure this didn’t happen.”

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When she was able, Lisa joined the 3-Day in 2007, and since then has become an active participant, partaking in the Survivor Circle in 2010 and 2015, which she said was a “highly emotional” Experience. When talking about how being a survivor has affected her 3-Day experience, she explained,

“This is going to sound silly, but the walkers make me feel like a rock star. Funny, right?  Survivors are looked at as heroes, even though I don’t feel like one.  […]  Just the fact that so many people join together for a single cause is astounding.”

That feeling of community includes walker stalkers and other San Diego locals, who Lisa says are some of her favorite parts of the walk each year.

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“It is unique in that there are so many people coming together for a singular cause. And our community support here in San Diego is bar none!  We have the best city!”

Marianne summed it up best when she said, “Lisa is as dedicated to the cause as she is dedicated to living. She fully embraces living in the present and to me embodies everything the 3-Day represents!”

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If you want to make a difference for a breast cancer survivor, or help someone battling breast cancer in your own life, Lisa says it’s very simple; just be present.

“Be available to listen, offer a positive attitude, and offer to do grocery shopping, house cleaning, cooking meals.  Anything so that the person can focus on getting well.”

That is something Lisa focuses on every day. We are honored to have her in our 3-Day family during Cancer Survivor Month, and always.

 

 

Meet Gwynne M., 3-Dayer and Recruiter Extraordinaire

All it takes is a little spark of inspiration to start a whole movement. If you need proof of that statement, Gwynne is the perfect example. This year will be only her second one walking in the 3-Day, and she has already single handedly recruited 25 people to her team, Gwynne’s Friends. She’s also already surpassed her fundraising minimum. And she still has more than six months until she walks the San Diego 3-Day. Imagine where she’ll be by November!

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Gwynne first became introduced to Susan G. Komen’s efforts in 2012 when her friends participated in the Race for the Cure in her honor. That same year, she had a bilateral mastectomy, finished up chemo and underwent radiation all due to a Triple Negative breast cancer diagnosis.

Four years later, in 2016, Gwynne decided to get more personally involved and signed up for the Philadelphia 3-Day. Gwynne’s Friends came back to life as a team! Shortly after signing up, however, Gwynne learned that her cancer was back, and was metastatic, Stage IV breast cancer.

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“I started treatment and my training all in the same month. We had a total of six people on our team and after completing the 24-week training program, we walked.”

With her friends by her side, Gwynne took on the 3-Day.

“I couldn’t believe the number of people that were there cheering us on. I had a catheter hanging out the side of my chest and my feet were peeling from the chemo but I managed to walk about 55 of the 60 miles. It was amazing. There was such excitement and spirit between the walkers, crew and community that you hardly realized you were walking all day.”

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She says that training was a huge credit to her success last year, especially her long weekend training walks.

“It is so much easier when you have someone to walk with. One weekend my nephews were visiting and we had them rotate and walk a mile with us and then switch. They loved it! Many of my friends would join me to walk while I was training.”

Just getting the word out made a huge difference., Gwynne said that once people knew she was walking the 3-Day, she was amazed at the amount of support, training companions and donations she received. It also made a huge difference in her personal motivation.

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“When you’re undergoing chemotherapy and the doctors are telling you that you’re terminal, having a goal to walk in a 3-Day has such a positive impact on you emotionally and physically.”

That motivation led her to sign up for the 3-Day again in 2017.

“I decided to sign up for the San Diego 3-Day. Sun, sand and the ocean. What more could you want when walking? I put the word out to my team members, and a couple of them decided to join, along with my husband.”

She utilized the “Bring Your Bestie” Promotion to gather friends from out of town as well! Though she had previously walked in Philadelphia, she used social media to encourage friends to make the trip West with her.

 

“I created a video that started with a little chat about me and some photos from our 3-Day walk in Philadelphia the year before. In the video, I invited anyone who wanted to join us in San Diego. and if they couldn’t join us I asked for them to donate. Then I posted it on Facebook. I was so humbled by the outcome. I raised all my donations in one week and we now have 25 team members!”

Soon friends, cousins, sisters and sister in laws joined. And then their friends joined along with them.

“That’s what friends do,” Gwynne said simply. “They support each other. The 3-Day is family, friends, community, volunteers and LOVE!”

Walk on, Gwynne.