What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
My first 3-Day was in 2001 in New York City, right after 9/11, on the fifth anniversary of my first round of breast cancer. I heard an ad for the 3-Day and I knew I had to walk; I had to do something. At the Closing Ceremony I stood with a young woman, a few years younger than me, who was crying because she was afraid she would never have children. I showed her a picture of my one-year-old daughter, born soon after my diagnosis. Her tears dried up, and she hugged me. During the ceremony, a woman spoke who had to choose between being in the 3-Day Closing Ceremony and being at a memorial for her brother who was killed in the 9/11 attacks. She chose the 3-Day because she chose hope. I could talk for hours about how amazing my first walk was, but all you need to know is that I was hooked. And, by the way, my daughter took her first steps as I took the last steps of my 60 miles.
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
The Pink Bubble, the people and the lessons of kindness and compassion bring me back. Nowhere else is there the kindness, the silliness, the joy and the sorrow. The people, my friends, the walkers, the other crew, the staff and the cause make this event addictive. And, of course, my sister would never forgive me if I didn’t.
What is your favorite aspect of crewing the 3-Day?
As a walker, I raised money, played music, met people and had fun. But I saw what a difference the crew made for us. And I knew I was better suited for crewing. Working at a pit stop, I could make the walk better for every walker. When we did a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” theme, our crew chose to play the “Time Warp” continuously, and each walker thought it was just for him or her. When we dressed up as Peter Pan, walkers believed that Tinkerbelle’s magic fairy dust could make them fly. But now, on the Sweep Crew, I can make the walk better for every walker who needs it the most, and then maybe that walker will have a better walk. Maybe I’ll come back next year with a new friend.
What is your best advice to anyone crewing the 3-Day?
First and most importantly, have fun. Have lots of fun, and really have fun outside your comfort zone. Second, give and give and give some more. Pour out everything you have in you for the walkers. Of course, do what the staff and your crew captains ask, be flexible, etc. But remember that the joy you give is what creates the Pink Bubble.
What’s a fun fact about you?
Although I grew up in California, I am genetically a Mets fan, whose colors are Brooklyn Dodger Blue and NY Giants orange. Why? My dad was a NY Giants fan, and my mom is a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, so I truly am genetically a Mets fan. You have got to believe!
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
Obviously, I have learned to listen to the staff, my crew captain and learned to be flexible. Very flexible (except, not at yoga). As I said, I have learned over and over the value of giving and sharing. I also learned a huge life lesson: tolerance is about tolerating what you don’t agree with, not what you do agree with. I love the diversity of the people I know from the 3-Day. That is a gift. I have also learned that I can do what I didn’t think I could do and that my life is better because of it. Oh, and I learned that I can make creative, crazy hats!
Beth’s friend Melissa shared a brief testimonial with us:
“Beth has been a fantastic crew member in the many years I have had the pleasure to work alongside her. She is a supportive friend that is always ready to jump in and help with anything that she can. As a survivor, she is a constant supporter of the walkers, fellow crew, and the Susan G. Komen mission to eradicate breast cancer. She has made an impact in my personal life as well as my 3-Day life, and I am proud to call her my friend. Beth embodies the definition of a 3-Day crew member ― Be Kind, Be Flexible and Be Prompt.”
Congratulations to Beth for being our 2022 San Diego Crew Impact Award Winner! And thank you, Beth, for your continued support and dedication to the 3-Day!