In memory of Jean…a husband’s reflections

One of the joys of my 3-Day journey is sharing the experience with my husband, George. This year marks our 14th walk together, and the weekend always brings us joy for the life we share. We know how fortunate we are that neither of us has had to fight cancer, and we hold hands a little tighter each time we see a walker who has lost their soul mate.

Bob S. began his 3-Day story with his wife Jean, as members of the 3-Day Crew in 2002. He walked again in 2010 and 2011, and made his 5th 3-Day journey in Chicago this summer. When Jean died of breast cancer in 2009, Bob channeled his immeasurable sorrow into conviction to continue the fight. Like many other walkers, he walks with the memory of his wife in his heart. Here’s what Bob had to share with me about Jean.

Bob Scanlan 1_Jean

Bob remembers his wife, Jean, and shares their 3-Day story.

“As I write this, it is the 4th anniversary of Jean’s funeral. It’s hard to describe the loss unless one has experienced it.”

“Many people ask, ‘Why me? Jean’s response was always, ‘Why NOT me? 200,000 women a year are diagnosed. Who said I get a pass?”

Jean did everything right. Doctors. Surgeries. Chemo. Radiation. All western medicine has to offer. In 2009 Jean came home from her last hospital stay, and died 8 days later. I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. She was too weak to speak the last 2 days – but when she could speak she had two sentences – ‘It is time,’ and ‘Take me quickly.’ Jean’s faith pulled us through. She had been a Catholic Nun, and I a Catholic Priest – prayer and faith helped us greatly. Jean would have loved to be at Haley’s First Communion – our only grandchild.”

“3-Day participants are not random people who happen along. The 3-Day family is made up of people with a very personal experience with cancer. They are survivors, families, and spouses like me. It is the openness and support – the sense of family – that gives me great memories. The Remembrance Tent in particular is always a special place to remember Jean.”

We asked Bob what he looked forward to this year when he walked in Chicago. “Reaching the finish on Day 3 and entering the holding area at Soldier Field is very special. Another year finished, more memories, and more funds raised.” Well done, Bob. You – and Jean – are an inspiration!



Do you walk in memory of a loved one? Are there other husbands and wives who share their 3-Day journey? Please share your special 3-Day moments in the comments below.

Sharing our 3-Day journey since 2002.

Sharing our 3-Day journey since 2002.

Day 3

Lee and Kathy Giller at the 2013 Cleveland 3-Day.

Making Memories with the 3-Day Coaches: Boston, Cleveland, Chicago

Participants on the 2013 3-Day in Boston, Cleveland and Chicago made this year’s 3-Day journey with mixed emotions, knowing the event would not be returning to their city in 2014. Our 3-Day coaches and event staff felt the same mix of joy and melancholy as they walked or supported our last events in these three remarkable cities. They share their love, gratitude and messages for the 3-Day participant community below.Cleveland finish

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Thank You Cleveland!

“I can’t believe it!” quipped a walker at 6 a.m. on Friday morning. “It’s always raining during the Opening Ceremony in Cleveland and look at this!” Indeed, Dock 32 appeared pristine as the walkers gathered and the sun peeked above the beautiful city of Cleveland for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. The dedicated community of supporters of the Komen 3-Day here were electrified by the stories of survivors and poured out onto the streets of Cleveland in excellent weather and even better spirits. (See photographs from the event here.)

A walker reaches pit stop 1, greeted by the cheering crew on the Cleveland 3-Day

After passing the stadiums of Cleveland and moving out near the lake’s edge west of the city, walkers pushed into the neighborhoods of Lakewood and Rocky River and towards Westlake Recreation Center, which would be home for the next two nights. Both singers and dancers entertained the crowd during dinner and during a great camp show. What a great way to end Day 1!

The last walker of Day 2 is greeted by Dr. Sheri and the camp after the raising of the flag

After what could be called no less than a torrential rain overnight, the resilient walkers set out their bedding to dry while they took on the 21.5-mile route on Day 2, complete with two cheerleading stations, many private companies and families (thank you!) and warm weather.  Local dancers and singers again prepped the crowd for the evening, which included touching stories from participants, tributes to fundraisers, and fun games from sponsors New Balance and Bank of America.

The 2013 Cleveland 3-Day camp is illuminated at sunrise

With only a few showers overnight, the walkers were treated to an exceptional sunrise and a 16.9-mile route that led through the beautiful Valley Parkway. Special thanks to the friends, family and community who showed their support at some great cheering stations on Day 3!  If the walkers were weary, they didn’t show it as they marched triumphantly into the Closing Ceremony amid cheers and hugs.  The crowd fell silent as shoes were lifted high by the walkers in deference to those survivors of breast cancer in the Survivors’ Circle. The crowd went wild after the announcement of $1.3 million raised by Cleveland for the fight to end breast cancer. Thank you to the dedicated community of Cleveland!

The Bank of America tent relaxes walkers after a long day on the route

The last pink tent of the Cleveland 3-Day is taken down on Sunday morning

The cheerful team of “60 Miles of Smiles” glides through the route on Day 3

The influential team of “Breast Man Walking” finishes strong amid cheers and tears at the Cleveland 3-Day