Deana K.’s Commitment to the 3-Day 

We all commit to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ® for a reason. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer, and Deana’s story is no different. She signed up to walk the 3-Day in 2015, after her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Fast forward to 2019, and Deana was eight months pregnant, but that didn’t stop her from walking the 3-Day in Dallas/Fort Worth. Read on to learn more about Deana’s commitment to the cause and what her unique experience has been like. 

How did you get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ®? 

I got involved with the 3-Day the year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She opted for a double mastectomy because cancer runs in her family. I was her support person for the first three weeks following surgery. I saw the pain, the struggle, the fear and wanted to do something to honor her fight. I knew the 3-Day would be tough, but I knew that if she could get up every day and fight breast cancer, I could walk 60 miles.   

How many 3-Days have you participated in and how many/what cities are you signed up for in 2022? 

The 2022 season will be my eighth year participating (I still walked in 2020, despite the event being canceled because of COVID). I’m currently signed up to walk in all four cities for 2022, but will definitely be walking in Dallas/Fort Worth, since that is my home. 

What motivated you to walk while pregnant, and what was that experience like? 

In 2019, I was eight months pregnant during the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. So many people thought I was crazy to walk while I was pregnant. But I knew that I needed to walk for my baby’s future, my future and my mom’s future. It was an amazing experience! I had approval from my OB to walk short distances and then could sweep as I needed to. The sweep vans were a hoot! They were all on the lookout for me, as well as all the walker stalkers, especially the Team Steps stalkers. I was not in any big rush, so I spent extra time at pit stops and lunch to chat with other walkers. Many said that I motivated them to keep going. For the 2021 season I was also pregnant again, but was too close to my due date to walk and had concerns from my OB, so I cheered the team on from my car. 

How is the walking experience different while pregnant? 

The experience while pregnant was definitely different from my other walks. I trained equally for pregnant and non-pregnant walks, but completely knew that doing the whole 60 miles on foot would not be best that far into my pregnancy. We definitely didn’t need a baby born on the route — although Medical would have had members on hand with experience! I camped out during non-pregnant walks, but definitely couldn’t do that while pregnant. I usually don’t sweep all three days, and just power through with teammates. I loved being able to walk leisurely and sweep while pregnant — it was nice to talk to so many walkers. Finding out why they were walking motivated me to keep going. After one meal in the tent, we had donut holes left over. So I started making little sleeves of donut holes to have in my bag while out on the route. I never knew how much a small pack of donut holes could light up faces of fellow walkers, but it did, especially on Day 3!   

If there are other pregnant women out there considering walking, what words of encouragement or advice would you give them? 

If anyone is pregnant and wanting to participate in the 3-Day, talk to your doctor of course, but if they’ say it’s ok — go for it! If you are on a team, let your teammates know and be sure to seek out the sweep vans, just in case! Take your time and watch your feet; the cracks on the sidewalks would most definitely send you to medical if you tripped. If I came up on a section with limited sweep access or no sweep access, I used caution and listened to my body before proceeding. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, more so than a normal walking hydration routine. Most importantly, enjoy the Pink Bubble and all aspects of it! Embrace the journey, whether on foot or wheels. 

How did you come up with the idea to print phrases of the 3-Day promise on maternity shirts? 

I’ve always teared up during the 3-Day promise, especially “We lay down or footsteps for this generation and the next.” When I became pregnant, I knew I would be walking or riding in the sweep vans and needed something comfy to wear, while also supporting the Pink Bubble. One of my team members created the design and put it on a shirt for me. It was very symbolic for me, as the words went across my tummy, where the next generation was growing (my Baby Roo as everyone referred to the baby — we didn’t find out the gender until the baby was born— a little boy. My little Roo). 

We all have unique stories and reasons why we join the Pink Bubble and commit to the cause. Why do you walk? Let us know in the comments. 

Meet Brad and Debbie, The Fire Truck Walker Stalkers

You’ve seen them on the route, you’ve probably taken a picture on or with the classic fire truck, and maybe even worn the pink firefighter hats, but have you ever wondered who the nice couple is behind the fire truck? They have become well-known supporters, driving out from Palm Springs to San Diego every year to cheer walkers on. Meet Brad and Debbie!

When did you first get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®?

My wife battled breast cancer in 1999. We first got involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in 2008. My wife Debbie saw an ad in a magazine and said she wanted to do the walk. I decided to do it with her, along with two of my brothers. We raised the money and did EVERY training walk according to the schedule that was put out, which got a little tricky with our 120-degree day summers. But the training allowed us to walk the entire 60 miles, which was really fun! My wife decided to walk again in 2011. We wanted to be 60 years old walking 60. What a way to celebrate your 60th birthday! I was always inspired by all the walker stalkers who encouraged us during our own experience. So, 2011 was the first year I brought my fire truck and my “3-Day Walkers Are Hot” sign to follow the walkers. I have done it every year since, with the exception of one year when I had a surgery and could not attend.

Why do you choose to come out and cheer on walkers?

Because it’s so FUN! The walkers are so positive and need the encouragement to keep going. Plus, when we walked, we saw how important the supporters were to us and we wanted to do something in return. Bringing out our fire truck, firefighter hats, and sign is the something we chose to do.

What keeps you motivated to keep coming out year after year to support the 3-Day?

The amazing walkers, crew and staff! It’s very well organized and such a fun event. We never hear a complaint from anyone. And we like the Melon Men!

What are some fun facts about you and your wife, Debbie?

Our claim to fame is that we were on the Newlywed Game in 1971, and we won! We have three children and six grandchildren who we love spending time with. I am a retired firefighter and my wife is a retired school teacher. I spend a lot of time working on my garden and home, while my wife likes to read and make quilts.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

We appreciate all that Susan G. Komen does to provide such a wonderful event for men and women who are in one way or another connected to breast cancer. See you next year!

We love our walker stalkers, as well as learning why they come out year after year to support us all on our 3-Day journey. Do you have a favorite walker stalker? Shout them out in the comments!

Congratulations to the 2021 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner!

Please join us in congratulating our 2021 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Jeannie A.! Jeannie celebrated her 50TH 3-Day during 3-Day Nation and now her 51st after San Diego. She has raised more than $141,000 since she first started participating in 2004! Jeannie’s commitment to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, Susan G. Komen® and the fight against breast cancer epitomizes what the Pink Bubble is all about. 

In preparation for giving Jeannie the Milestone Award, we reached out to her friend and teammate Kathy, who said, “We LOVE our Jeannie, and that’s an understatement. Jeannie cares so much about finding the cures because she is so emotionally moved when she hears of a young person battling this disease. I believe she feels she “lucked out” with a modest battle herself, and therefore her way to show gratitude and appreciation for her life is to pay it forward for others fighting this disease.”

We asked Jeannie a few questions so we, along with the rest of the Pink Bubble, could get to know her a little better. 

What was your inspiration to do your first Komen 3-Day?  

In 2001 I served as a crew member on the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. When I had my annual mammogram, it showed something irregular that my doctor wanted to investigate. It was cancer. The Monday after the walk I had surgery. I was lucky; it was small and we caught it early. I wanted to walk the following year to feel healthy and normal. The walk was in May, and on Friday the weather was beautiful. However, we got rain, sleet and snow on Saturday, so the route was shut down. I felt cheated, so I signed up for the following year. The Avon 3-Day then became the Avon 2-Day, and I felt cheated again. But then Susan G. Komen brought the 3-Day® back, and I jumped on board and never looked back.   

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?  

My goals kept changing. At first it was going to be one and done. Then, it was going to be five walks to coincide with my being five years cancer-free. Then 10 years, then 20 walks, then doing all fourteen cities (not in one year), then $150,000 and then the seven cities. The 3-Day just becomes a part of your life, and breast cancer is still out there. 

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?  

My fundraising has changed over the years. At first, I mainly had individual donations. Over the years I have knitted scarfs, made t-shirts and memory quilts, stood in front of a liquor store with a bucket and had yard sales. I suggest looking for donation matches and asking everyone you know. The worst they can do is say no! 

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?  

My advice to new walkers is to have fun, meet new people and listen to their stories. And remember this is a fundraiser, not an endurance test. You want to walk into closing on Sunday and be able to go to work on Monday. And you do not get a gold star for doing all the miles. Just because you get into a sweep van, it does not mean you cannot walk anymore that day. Sometimes you just need a little help.  


What’s a fun fact about you?  

I make great biscotti! 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?  

I have learned that people can do more than they think. If you work at it, it is amazing how much you can accomplish. That is how we will find the cures.  

Join us in congratulating Jeannie! THANK YOU for your contributions to the Komen 3-Day over the last 17 years!