Through it all, especially in the Medical Tent, Hal G. shows PERSEVERANCE | Word of the Year

Next up in our “Word of the Year” series, meet Hal G. and learn in his own words why he chose perseverance.

I have participated in three events as part of the Medical Crew—Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019 as well as New England in 2019. I am registered to walk for the first time in San Diego 2021.

My experiences at the 3-Day events have been great. I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful people who have come together in support of people they know and don’t know. It’s about making the future brighter for friends and strangers alike…incredible people filled with hope finding a common mission of advancing breast cancer diagnosis, research, and treatment.

As part of the Medical Crew, I feel honored to be part of the 3-Day. My colleagues and I are dedicated to helping the participants finish what they started. I am at the event to help each individual achieve their own goal.

The days start early and end late as we have clinic before the route is open and afterwards into the evening. We provide medical care along the route with a team of incredible medical professionals and assistants. It is truly a well-coordinated team effort with each member doing their part to get each and every participant the care they need and to keep them safe.

My word of the year is Perseverance.

Perseverance is my word of the year as 2020 was a year filled with remarkable and unprecedented challenges. 

I participate in the 3-Day because of my girlfriend, Christine. We started dating in July 2014. Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer in December the following year. She and I never really talked about this again but as tears were streaming down her face in shock from her diagnosis she said to me, “This is more than you bargained for. If you want out of the relationship I understand”. I am still here. We are still here.

Christine had surgery and radiation treatment and now has ongoing medical management and surveillance. After recovering from the stress and fatigue of treatment, Christine set her sights on walking the 3-Day. It was a monumental milestone in her emotional and physical recovery.

Christine has now completed three events, two as a walker and one as crew. We will be walking in San Diego together.

In December 2020, Christine became a 5-year survivor.

The 3-Day family to me is a gathering of people coming together to combat a common adversary. It is a group of individuals magnifying their strengths exponentially as they join the Pink Bubble. It is a reminder that nobody has to fight alone…there are friends we know and friends we haven’t met yet that are working together to improve lives today and for future generations.

My word of the year, Perseverance, embodies much of the 3-Day experience. Perseverance is about overcoming an obstacle. It’s defined as weathering a storm or difficult situation in life with strong determination. I have seen and treated many in the Medical tent and base camp who display a singlemindedness toward achievement. Also, perseverance can last for a lifetime.

The message I would like to share with the Pink Bubble is that you matter. You are important. What you do helps others. In this time of extraordinary challenges look for the good. The Pink Bubble is part of the good, and the Pink Bubble is not the same without you.

One thing that surprised me about volunteering for the 3-Day is that in helping others an unexpected side effect was that I helped myself. I didn’t see that coming. 

Thank you, Hal. As we move through 2021, we’re honored by the perseverance we see you and the Pink Bubble family show as we overcome obstacles together.

Other Word of the Year Blog Posts

Tracie G. is ready to INSPIRE everyone around her in 2021 | Word of the Year

Carolyn P.’s Heart is Filled with Generosity in 2021 | Word of the Year

Riley W. Chooses To Walk Into 2021 Being GRATEFUL | Word of the Year

Meet our AVEENO® Champions

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the Susan G. Komen’s AVEENO® Champions Contest—our five AVEENO® Champions! These special members of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® community each bring their own unique chapters to the 3-Day story, and we’re proud to be able to share them with you on the blog. As you continue to prepare for your 3-Day journey, AVEENO® Cares and is here for you as a resource and support system. Today, join AVEENO® Cares and the Komen 3-Day family as we introduce our five AVEENO® Champions. #AveenoCares

Jennifer R.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I first participated in the 3-Day in 2008, and I have participated once each year since. 2021 will be my 13th walk. I’ve walked most of them but have crewed two. I walked and crewed in Boston through 2013, and then walked Seattle, Philadelphia twice, and San Diego twice; I returned to New England in 2019.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

My best friend/sister-by-heart/cousin, Lori D., was diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer. We have a strong family history, so the only thing that was surprising was that she was so young when diagnosed (31). The women in our family are also survivors, so we were hopeful. Lori’s other best friend, Bonnie G., wanted to do something big and signed up for the 2006 3-Day after she heard an ad on the radio. Lori had finished treatment and walked with her and one other woman; I decided not to join them — it seemed too daunting. I had participated in smaller walks before, and, honestly, the crowds of people and intense heat did not bring out the best in me.

Lori loved the 3-Day and signed up for 2007. I mentioned to her that I felt I should walk with her and she assured me it was not “Jen-friendly” due to the reasons I mentioned. Before she could walk in the 2007 walk, Lori was diagnosed with lung cancer (which no one could understand), and her breast cancer metastasized to her brain and her spine. She was too sick to walk in August 2007 and passed away at the beginning of September. I knew I had to walk the 2008 3-Day in her honor. She was devoted to the 3-Day; when diagnosed with lung cancer, many suggested she quit the 3-Day and do the Relay for Life instead — she refused. The 3-Day was important to Lori; now, it was equally important to me.

I signed up for the 2008 3-Day and told my teammates (our team was named Lori’s Breast Friends) that I didn’t know if I would be emotionally able to actually walk all three days, but I would try. I walked all 60 miles — for Lori. I continue to participate in the 3-Day for Lori, and so we can have a future where breast cancer doesn’t take someone’s best friend, sister, mother, cousin — anyone.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I applied to be an AVEENO® Champion because I had used AVEENO® products in the past and wanted to try to support a company that was sponsoring the 3-Day. The companies that support Komen and the 3-Day have an increased value in my book, and I thought I would try to support one. Also, I thought if I liked the products, being an AVEENO® Champion would be a great way to share my “approval” of the products and company with my friends on social media — a way to give back to a company that is giving to the 3-Day.

Lynda dC.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

2021 will be my 13th experience with the 3-Day. I started in 2002 in San Francisco, walking and then crewing. In 2006, I walked the 3-Day in Seattle, a grueling event that is still talked about today by those who participated. I began my annual participation in the San Diego 3-Day in 2010, and I’m now a five-time walker and four-time crew member for pit stops and camp services. I had to sit out in 2019 but will be back in San Diego for 2021. I look forward to the 2021 San Diego virtual kick-off!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

In 2002, I only knew one person who was affected by breast cancer. My aunt had passed away long before the advances in treatment that are available today. In her memory and as a personal physical challenge, I made the commitment to train, fundraise, and take the 3-Day journey. All it took was one experience, and I was “hooked.” The 3-Day mission is always my main reason for joining, and the experiences, people, joy, and friendships keep me participating every year.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

The 3-Day brings awareness to breast cancer and our commitment to find a cure. As a major part of that effort, Susan G. Komen and 3-Day participants focus on health and well-being. In turn, AVEENO® products emphasize well-being, and being named one of the Champions means that together, we will bring health into the spotlight. It is an honor to be one of the AVEENO® Champions.

Julie “Alaska Julie” J.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I have participated in 25 events — walked 23 and crewed two in Arizona, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, Seattle, New England, Michigan, and Philadelphia. I wish I could remember how many in each city, but I can’t! I also did a solo 3-Day in Alaska this summer…so really I count that I’ve done 26 events, but the Alaska one wasn’t official.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I did my first event not knowing anyone who had breast cancer. I was sitting in my apartment in Arizona when I saw a commercial for the 3-Day. I was at a point in my life when I needed to do something for others. I figured I would do one and be done. Boy, was I wrong. Once I learned more and met so many amazing people involved in the 3-Day, I knew I had to keep walking and raising awareness and money for breast cancer. I will continue to do so till there is a cure. I have learned so much to be able to help friends and strangers who have been diagnosed. I also put together chemo and radiation boxes for people and also serve as a chemo partner if they need one.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

First, I already use AVEENO®. It is cold and dry in Alaska in the winter. I am excited to spread the word that AVEENO® is a new sponsor for the 3-Day, to let people going through treatment know how AVEENO® can help them, and how AVEENO® is supporting Susan G. Komen. I am also happy to represent and spread the word about Komen and the 3-Day.

Carolyn P.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I created a team, Feet to Beat Breast Cancer, in 2005. This will be our 16th year walking —– 14 in Atlanta, one in San Diego, and now we’re going to Chicago in 2021 — where we will surpass our $1,000,000 fundraising milestone! We have an absolutely amazing group, which now includes both my teenage sons!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

I cannot NOT participate. My mom, sister and several close friends and teammates have battled breast cancer. I have lost two of those teammates, both young moms. I have seen so much pain, suffering and loss. The 3-Day gives me hope. Susan G. Komen has facilitated incredible progress in all facets of this disease, and I am proud to be a part of that. My team and the people I have met through the walk have had a profound impact on my life. It is truly a gift to be able to share the road and the journey with tremendous men and women while raising money for breast cancer research and patient support.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am very honored to be named an AVEENO® Champion! As a loyal customer, I was excited to hear AVEENO® would serve as a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series. I respect the company not only for its product excellence, but for its commitment to wellness. “We are committed to healthy, holistic practices that ensure we always do right by you, your family and the planet.” I am proud to support this company who is so generously giving back!

Kerrie K.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience?

I walked the Atlanta 3-Day in 2017 & 2018, the San Diego 3-Day in 2019, and I am walking Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego in 2021 — I can’t wait!

Why do you participate in the 3-Day?

It does not matter where we come from, who we are, or what country we live in. We all are connected as the human race in knowing someone that is battling breast cancer. It’s awful, isn’t it? I lost my mom, aunts, and friends to cancer, but I have also seen remission in others. We all have our purpose in our lives, and we are all Mighty Pink Warriors. This is my purpose — to raise money, walk for those who can’t, and give hope to others. Hopefully, this world will be without cancer someday! I love that possibility.

What does being named an AVEENO® Champion mean to you?

I am so happy and honored to part to be part of this wonderful opportunity with Susan G. Komen and AVEENO® in our fight against breast cancer. Together, we can give men and women hope in the fight against breast cancer! 

Thanks to AVEENO® for their continued support of the 3-Day, and congratulations again to our AVEENO® Champions!

We Crew for MaMa Tutu: Meet Ken and Kris Kauker

The sign says it all!

Eight family members. More than 30 events. Walkers, crew, youth corps, walker stalkers. The Kauker and Lawrie families have the 3-Day running through their veins. And that includes Ken and Kris Kauker. Most Philadelphia 3-Dayers know them as the TuTu Brothers and remember their fun outfits and wide smiles as they ride by while on the Safety Crew.

They are just a small part of a true family movement to support the 3-Day’s mission, in memory of their mother, Julie Kauker (MaMa TuTu), who passed away from inflammatory breast cancer in 2011. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, Ken and Kris are giving us a deeper look at their family’s dedication to the 3-Day, and the love for their parents that started it all.

2018 Atlanta 3-Day TuTuBros.jpg

Meet the Kauker/Lawrie family (TuTu family) members…

Our family of five was always a close family. We did everything together: family camping on the weekends, participating and watching sporting events, vacations to local destinations, working behind-the-scene at our local community theatre and even performing as a colonial family at local historic sites.

Thankfully, many of those things we still do. And yes, still as a family. At the head of the family were our parents. Mom and Dad (MaMa and PaPa TuTu) were involved with everything the family did. No one family member would ever end up being the only one. This goes for everything we do. If one of us is involved, we are all involved.

2014 Philadelphi 3Day Kathleen holding moms photo.jpg

And then in 2006, everything changed…

When our Mom was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, she wasn’t the only one getting ready for the battle. We were all involved with every aspect of the treatments, doctor’s visits, hospital stays and everything else that goes along with it. She didn’t go anywhere alone. Someone was always there taking notes, holding all the paperwork, asking all the questions and anything else we could do to make things a little easier.

Things moved quickly through chemo treatments, surgeries, and radiation treatments. We describe the days after a diagnosis like riding a roller coaster. There were the days of climbing the hills. There were the days of flying down the hill. There were the days of screaming around curves. There were days of being turned upside down. There were days when all we could do is hold on and scream in fear. But, like with all rollercoasters, the ride came to an end.

With the help of countless doctors and countless nurses, Mom was given a clean bill of health and the road to recovery was complete. And just like riding a rollercoaster, we laughed and were joyous that the ride was over.

2016 Philadelphia 3Day

From there, the family began to move forward…

With everything behind us, it was a radio commercial that sparked the realization to pay it forward and the medium in which to do it. The commercial was for the Philadelphia 3-Day that would be taking place in October. It was this commercial that pushed our family into the realm of the 3-Day family.

And they never looked back…

Our 3-Day family has been with us since 2008. They’ve been there when we needed them and when we didn’t know we needed them. They were there when our Mom passed away and again 10 months later when our Dad passed away. They provided the light down the dark passages that cancer and losing someone forces you to go down. Every city that we’ve crewed has welcomed all of us with loving, open arms and made us a part of their family.

The Philadelphia 3-Day may be our home event, but when it comes down to it, the Crew is a part of every walk, no matter what city it takes place in.

That means our family is always part of the 3-Day, no matter where we are.

2018 Philadelphia 3-Day Family.jpg

Spread the love this Mother’s Day to the special women in your own life! You can share a personalized love note with your mom this Mother’s Day and Susan G. Komen will then share one with a mother facing breast cancer. komen.org/withlovexoxo