A Family United: Julie G. and the “Trekkers for Tudy’s Tatas”

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I Walk For: My Daughter. My Sister. My Niece. Myself.

On the 3-Day, we hear that people are walking with and for family members all the time. They walk alongside them, in their memory, and with their family cheering from the sidelines. What we don’t always see, though, is four sisters all walking together, alongside their daughters and nieces. All as one, walking for seven years!

That’s the story of Julie G. and her “Trekkers for Tudy’s Tatas” team in Dallas/FortWorth. In 2017, she walked with her sisters Kim, Lori and Chris, along with her daughter Lindsey and her niece Morgan.

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Julie’s sister Chris first brought the family into the 3-Day bubble, walking for two years as a part of another team. Then, in 2010, Julie’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, all three sisters signed up for the next 3-Day walk, and have walked ever since in her honor.

Julie says they have all walked together simply for the “sheer joy it brings our mother. She is so humbled by the fact that we fundraise, train and walk all in her name.”

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Since that first year, their team has also added Julie’s own daughter Lindsey, and her niece.

“Walking with family members is by far the most special part of the walk. It started out with just my sisters and then it has grown to my daughter and my niece. We are a family of 18 including husbands, sons and other nieces, and to see that whole group standing with matching t-shirts along the route screaming our names and holding up posters bring tears to my eyes.

It really is a family effort. My husband and son are so supportive when it comes time to train and when the walk actual takes place. They are there every day driving around making sure to hit every cheering station along the route. But the most special part of the walk is the finish line and seeing my mother there. She knows it’s for her. We include her in the closing ceremony because she is the reason we walk.”

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Each member of the family approaches the walk differently, although they all swear by the 16-week training program. They try to train together on weekends, and Julie recommends early morning walks for quality time and cooler weather. Also, Julie says to be sure to get your walking shoes EARLY so you can break them in. All of this will have you ready to go when 3-Day weekend arrives and let you just take time to enjoy your 60-mile walk.

That is what Julie says she and her family loves most about the 3-Day: all the small moments of happiness that happen throughout the walk. Her daughter is a fan of “the silly outfits teams wear as well as the signs that husbands hold up along the way,” while Julie can’t get enough of our puppy supporters. The rest of the family loves seeing all the pit stop and cheering station themes, and they will even be hosting their own cupcake-themed cheering station this year.

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It’s a family affair from start to finish for Julie and her family, but it always comes back to the matriarch.

“My mother can’t put into words what it means to have us walk year after year. She knows it’s a sacrifice for us financially and physically and that proves to her more and more how much we love her and how proud we are to call her our mom.”

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Crew Heroes: The Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Medical Team

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The 3-Day could not happen without the tireless work of all our crew members. They are up before the sun rises, working hard to make sure that every part of the 3-Day, and every participant on those 60 miles, has the best and most inspiring experience possible. One integral crew team is the Medical Crew, who support everyone all weekend long.

This team provides medical assistance and evaluation for minor injuries, at pit stops along the route and at camp. The treat all kinds of issues, including sunburn, allergic reactions, abrasions and lacerations, dehydration, hyponatremia, asthma and some respiratory problems, hypo- and hyperthermia, and blisters. While most walkers make it through the 3-Day without medical issues, it’s comforting to know that there’s a crew of professionals there to help us if we need it.

Janette, one of the leaders on our Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Medical Team, and a Parker University Clinical Faculty Doctor-Associate Professor, says that consistent and dedicated service is what the 3-Day Medical Crew prides itself on.

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“Some of the Medical Crew are available 24/7 and that is an amazing feat! I am honored to be in that tent with so many dedicated professionals.”

Some of those in the tent with Janette are her 12-15 interns, assisted by 10-12 staff doctors, who all come from Parker University. Interns are required to apply and are then chosen for the 3-Day team according to their level of skill with sports-related injury and an essay to the selection committee indicating why they want to serve. Janette loves serving with her team, and thinks being a part of the 3-Day is such an important experience for her young interns to see how much good the medical profession does in the world.

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“Exposing young interns to this life-changing event has been such an eye-opening experience for me. The interns are literally changed-forever over the 3-Day, and to be present to help, assist and observe their transformation has been life changing for me also.

“Being one of the lead Doctors serving the Medical Team is a huge responsibility to say the least. We are all so very serious that the care we give is the absolute BEST possible.”

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Aside from the professional development and inspiration that she gets from the 3-Day, Janette also loves connecting with the walkers, hearing their stories, and helping them achieve their goals. On event this year in Dallas/Fort Worth, she teared up talking about what an impact participants have had on her personally. She walked the final mile this year, and one of her favorite memories of the whole weekend was watching one of her interns cross the finish line to cheers from onlookers.

“The 3-Day is truly a servant’s paradise; while putting others before ourselves, we are reminded how fortunate we are in many, many ways.”

Keep an eye out for Janette and the Parker University team on-event next year, because she promises that “as long as we are invited to serve, we will represent Parker University to the best of our abilities.”

Thanks for being there if we need you, Medical Crew!

Dynamic Duo: Father and Daughter Walking Together for a Cure

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“Just one look at you,
And I know it’s gonna be…
A lovely day”

Lovely Day, Bill Withers

Katie S. and her team listened to this song every morning on the 3-Day as they got ready to walk, just like in years past. It helped her get moving and excited for the 20 miles ahead. This year though, she had extra motivation to help her take on those 60 miles. Her dad, Dave, walked with her in honor of his wife (Kate’s mother) Roxanne.

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“We were a father-daughter duo named ‛Our Team Rox!’ and we came together to celebrate my mom, Roxanne, who is a 20-year survivor.”

Katie has been walking the 3-Day for many years, first in San Diego, and then other cities as well. She’s already signed up for the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2018, and says that she’s “hooked” on the pink bubble.

“I’ve never felt so much love and support from a community. My dad got involved through my experience and started by crewing in Seattle 2015. We’re both committed to participating in the 3-Day (either by donating, crewing or walking) until there’s a cure. We think it’s important to support this cause and advocate for education and treatment so others don’t have to experience the devastation that comes from this diagnosis.”

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The pain of a diagnosis is one Katie’s family knows all too well. There is a history of breast cancer in her family, and she has already lost a grandmother and great-aunt to the disease. That’s why her mother went in for a doctor-recommended mammogram at 39, and was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to early detection, Roxanne was able to undergo a double mastectomy and avoid radiation and chemotherapy all together. Since then, she has been cancer-free for two decades, and was there to cheer on “Our Team Rox!” as they crossed the finish line this year in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Katie explains, “It was incredibly special for [me and my dad] to walk together, but what made it even better was having my mom there to cheer us on. She’s the foundation of our family and the reason we walk, so to see her waiting for us at the finish line was an incredible moment.”

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It was a moment that was years in the making! Since 2014, Katie has made it clear that she wanted her dad to walk with her. After battling arthritis and a stent in his heart, Dave worked up to walking with Katie this year. They kept each other motivated all weekend long.

“I couldn’t be prouder of him!” Katie said with a smile. “It was literally a dream come true.”

They will continue to walk and dream together for years to come, until we find a cure.

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“I think that being vulnerable with others and having a shared vision of a world without breast cancer, is what brings us so close to one another.”

It’s what makes us the 3-Day family. And for Katie’s own family, it’s a vision that she gets one step closer to with each walk.