A Team of Two: Meet Team Sweet 16

Imagine you’re the mother of a seven-month-old baby. She’s your second child, so you’re familiar with the joy of motherhood—the chubby hands grasping around your pinky, the sweet coos, the late-night awakenings where you’re overcome with exhaustion—but you know that it’s all worth it. You’ve been nursing fine for six months, and then on the seventh month, your daughter suddenly stops nursing out of one breast. You go to the doctor and are told it’s common, just a typical nursing infection like mastitis. You’re given an antibiotic… but it doesn’t get better. You go back in, and by then, the skin on your breast has changed in appearance. You are told you have stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer.

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This is Laurie and Miranda’s story. Laurie is Miranda’s mother, a soft-spoken woman with a bright smile. Laurie has walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day three times; and while every Komen 3-Day is a special experience, this third time is celebrating her sixteen-year anniversary of survival. “I did a year of chemotherapy and radiation all while she was a baby,” Laurie says, as Miranda stands next to her. “I had a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy… all while she was a baby.”

Miranda wasn’t just in Dallas/Fort Worth cheering her mother on. She was walking for the first time, celebrating her sixteenth birthday with a sixty-mile walk. “My mom is a survivor and I lost my dance teacher to breast cancer. Breast cancer has had a huge impact on my life, and I wanted to do something to help,” she said. “It’s just us two, mom and daughter… and this is why we call this the Sweet 16.”

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Being a teenage walker presents unique challenges. “I’m a junior [in high school], and I have a lot of homework to do and honors classes. It’s tough to be here, but it’s absolutely worth it. It’s a rewarding experience and one that I wanted to have.”

As a three-time walker, Laurie found that fundraising was much easier than she thought it would be. “People want to support you, because breast cancer impacts everyone. Everybody knows somebody,” she said. Laurie and Miranda sewed ribbons and sold them as donations. Donors were invited to write on the ribbons with the names of people they loved who were affected by breast cancer.

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Laurie and Miranda were tired on day two of their walk, but they felt strong in their conviction to walk. “When you’re with this group of people, you don’t feel the pain. It’s nothing like the fight you go through with breast cancer.”

What’s it like to be a sixteen year survivor, walking sixty miles with your sixteen-year-old daughter? “I had a 10% survival rate. I didn’t think I’d be here. It’s incredible to do this with her – so that hopefully, one day, she won’t have to do this with her daughter.”

 

Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Honors our Opening Ceremony Speakers

We began our 2016 Dallas/Fort Worth Komen 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony as the sun rose above the Collin Creek Mall. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. Hear their compelling and touching reasons for being a part of our 2016 walk. #WeAreThe3Day

Janet Muldrew – My Sister
Breast cancer has stricken three of my five sisters. In 2006, we started walking in the 3-Day and raising money for Susan G.  Komen, to help find a cure and put an end to breast cancer. I’m Janet and I AM the 3-Day.

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Alicia Morrison – My Children
I’ve seen way too many friends, family members, and loved ones bravely face breast cancer. I walk for my children. I walk today with hope that they never have to fight that battle. I’m Alicia and I AM the 3-Day.

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Patti Rieder – My Mom
I walk for my mom who was a 7-year breast cancer survivor, only to be taken from us by ALS. Her strength, support, generosity and love is why I have become the woman I am today. I love you, Mom, and will continue to be a 3-Day walker to honor you. I’m Patti and I AM the 3-Day.

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 David Loder – My Wife
I walk for my wife who is an 18-year survivor. Thanks to each of you here today, there will be many more survivors in the future. I’m David and I AM the 3-Day.

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Susan Hennessy – My Family
I walk for my sister-in-law, Colleen. I walk because the day a family member receives a cancer diagnosis, your whole world changes. You immediately think of the years you may lose with them and of the heavy burdens they now must bear. I dream of a future in which no mother, father, sister, brother, or other loved one has to battle cancer. We’re all here today, united in the fight against cancer. We support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the angels, and never EVER give up hope. I’m Sue and I AM the 3-Day.

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 Emily Edgar – My Friend
My best friend from childhood began walking the 3-Day with me in 2012. Only 7 months later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, one that had no cure just 20 years ago. But today, she is cancer-free and so thankful for Susan G. Komen, because money from these events funded the research that saved her life. I also walk for my boss, who was diagnosed at 36. After a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, chemo, and radiation, she was declared cancer-free. But last year at 42, the cancer was back, stage 4. She is currently receiving experimental treatment and her tumor markers are down. I walk for my friends. I’m Emily and I AM the 3-Day.

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Introducing the 3-Day Series Walkers – Part 4

Anyone who steps up to the challenge of participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is making an incredible commitment. The months spent on fundraising strategy and execution, training plans and schedules, prepping, packing and traveling almost make it feel like the Komen 3-Day is your second job (good thing it’s a job you love!).

That’s why it’s especially remarkable when we meet a walker who makes the extraordinary decision to walk in every 3-Day® event in one year. In the past, there have been one or two walkers each year who dedicate themselves to walking the “full series,” but in 2014, we are honored to have eight amazing people taking on the full series and walking in all seven 3-Day events.

We’ve already introduced you to Nicole H. and Melissa, Jim and William., and Stephanie and Karen Kay. Today, meet the final two series walkers, sisters Ashley and Nicole.

Ashley H.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog full series walkers all seven events ashley hutto

  • What’s your name and where are you from? – Ashley Hutto. I’m originally from the Canton, Ohio area, but now live in Phoenix, AZ.
  • What is your 3-Day history (How many events have you walked/crewed?) – I started in 2009 and have walked 5 consecutive years (1 in Arizona, 3 in San Diego and 1 in San Francisco).
  • How/why did you first get involved with the 3-Day? – My mom passed away in 2002 and my sister, Nicole [Lieberman, also a 2014 series walker], got involved in the 3-Day the following year while I was still in my undergrad. At first, I wasn’t interested, but after I moved to Phoenix in 2009, I finally agreed to try it and the rest is history!
  • Are you part of any teams in 2014? – I’m co-captain of Team Pedi-Cure with my sister.
  • What made you decide to do all 7 events this year? – Team Pedi-Cure aims high! In addition to completing all the 3-Day events in a single year, we will also exceed $100,000 in total fundraising dollars!
  • What are your go-to fundraising strategies? – We’ve tried a lot of different things, but we’ve found our niche in selling products on Amazon.
  • What are you looking forward to most with your walks this year? – I’m looking forward to new routes and meeting some new friends!
  • Is there anything you are nervous about? – It’s difficult to train in the summer in Phoenix because of the heat… so needless to say we haven’t done much of it. I guess the Michigan 3-Day will be our training!
  • What are 3 words that you would use to describe the 3-Day? – Inspiring, energizing, healing

 

Nicole L.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog full series walkers all seven events nicole lieberman

  • What’s your name and where are you from? – Nicole Lieberman. I’m originally from northeast Ohio, but have lived in Phoenix, Arizona for 12 years.
  • What is your 3-Day history? (How many events have you walked/crewed) – I have walked one event per year since 2003 (10 events). Events include Arizona, Cleveland, Tampa, San Diego and San Francisco.
  • How/why did you first get involved with the 3-Day? – I lost my mother to cancer in November 2002. In February 2003, I heard a radio commercial for the 3-Day and knew I needed to be a part of this event. I convinced my husband, Adam, to walk with me in Arizona’s inaugural walk, and have been hooked ever since!
  • Are you part of any teams in 2014? – I have been the Captain of Team Pedi-Cure since 2004. I have been lucky enough to walk alongside my sister Ashley [Hutto, also a full series walker in 2014] since 2009 and our Dad walked with us in San Diego in 2010.
  • What made you decide to do all 7 events this year? – The stars are in alignment! After several years of hard work, I have a decent amount of funds saved and my husband got a job with a company that has a very generous matching gifts program.
  • What are your go-to fundraising strategies? – I have amazing family and friends who have generously supported me year after year. To supplement our fundraising, my sister Ashley and I started a side business in 2011 selling products on Amazon.
  • What are you looking forward to most with your walks this year? – I am looking forward to seeing the unique qualities of the 3-Day in each city.
  • Is there anything you are nervous about? – Humidity! One of the advantages of living in the desert for the past 12 years has been the dry heat. This is one element I haven’t trained for.
  • What are 3 words that you would use to describe the 3-Day? – Family, healing, addictive

 

No matter which 3-Day event you are participating in this year, keep an eye out for our eight series walkers, and then introduce yourself to them!