A Salute to the 3-Day Medical Crew

Today is National Nurse’s Day, and we are honored to have many accomplished nurses as part of our 3-Day Medical Crew. Along with doctors, physician’s assistants and other medical professionals, these nurses keep all our 3-Day participants safe and healthy during the 3-Day weekend.

To celebrate them, and nurses across the country, we had a few of our 3-Day Medical Crew Captains share their 3-Day stories.

Barb Diamond Johnson, Medical Captain at the Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Days

My commitment to the 3-Day and our local Komen affiliate is thanks to the care my mom received when her insurance fell short. Her care was funded by Susan G. Komen. I initially did the 3-Day in 2007 as a way to pay that back. My intention was to be one and done. But I’m still here…haha! My husband, two daughters, and son-in-law all now participate, too. I even met my current three best friends through the 3-Day.

I have so many amazing memories from my time on the 3-Day…

Years ago, my grandmother lived in Oregon. She used to help take care of the “neighbor girl.” I was in college at this point. I don’t ever remember hearing the neighbor girl’s name. My 1st year in Seattle, (Medical Lead) Jason Page assigned a social worker to my crew. I felt very drawn to her and would continue to have dinner with her when I would come to Seattle to visit my oldest daughter. Later while visiting with her, someone asked where she grew up. She mentioned the town where my grandparents lived. Lo and behold, she is that same neighbor girl! I had quite an ugly cry at that moment. We both now have bracelets that say “Gramma Glady’s Girls.”

Then, another year, we had a participant with Stage IV breast cancer whose family had been pushing her through the event. She would nap at lunch on our cots. Dr. Jim Lummus pushed her from Pit Stop 4 into the Participant Finish Area. We all were affected and inspired by her courage.

I have so many funny memories, and even a few moments of intense emotion, all from the 3-Day.

Robin Knapmiller, Medical Team Captain at the Twin Cities and San Diego 3-Days

It’s hard to express in words the love and appreciation I have for my Medical Team, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize them and thank them for all they do. They have shown over and over the ability to work with complete strangers in a new environment, and to do so with love and compassion, what a gift! I truly believe the personal connection makes a difference in the lives of the walkers. I have seen over and over how they not only treat the blisters and illnesses…but really get to know the walkers by name, share in their stories, meet their families and cry both happy and sad tears together! Sending love and thanks to ALL the3Day Medical Crew. You truly are THE BEST!

I am so honored to be among you, and to have my family at my side too! My daughter Jenni grew up watching me work the event, but since there was not a Youth Corps then, she had to wait until she was older to help. In 2013, Jenni got her Nursing Degree and we could finally work the events together. We haven’t missed a year since!  

Do you have a member of the medical crew who you would like to salute? Are you a medical crew member with a memory from the 3-Day to share? Tell us in the comments! We are honored to have so many talented medical professionals keeping us safe all weekend long.

For more stories about our 3-Day Medical Crew, you can check out these blog posts:

Congratulations to the 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner

Sharon Ray

For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Sharon Ray.

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When we told one of Sharon’s friends that she was going to be honored, she was beyond excited!

“YES!!! I’d be challenged to think of anyone more deserving! She’s constantly working with the Komen charities, especially the 3-Day and is on a never-ending quest to promote the event, participate in any way she can and help others to understand the mission and become more active themselves.

She’s a huge supporter of those of us who are survivors and is forever working to do everything she can to end breast cancer. I personally don’t know how she manages to do it all.”

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Sharon also writes support letters to 3-Day participants across the country, and fundraises year-round, all the while sharing fundraising opportunities with other participants.

Knowing how much she has given to the whole 3-Day family, we had to hear from Sharon herself! When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!

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

I have always been involved with Komen locally but never the 3-Day. I was curious how it was different then the volunteering I did with the affiliates. So, I volunteered for the 3-Day as my first experience and what an experience.

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

I cannot say one thing that brings me back year after year.  It is the people I have met and still meet. The stories from survivors and co survivors. The camaraderie with the walkers, crew and staff is infectious.  The friendships. I can’t imagine not being a part of this family and the Pink Bubble.

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

The secret to my fundraising is to ask everyone and anyone. Trying to turn a NO into a YES.  If you don’t ask you never know what you may have received.  I love to give back also so having something to give back to a donor is another great way to fundraise. Telling everyone why I am asking and what the dollars can do.

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

The best advice is to enjoy the moment. Talk to people, listen, do the best you can do.  You are not in competition with anyone else.

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What’s a fun fact about you?

I am an avid Red Wing Hockey fan. I don’t know how to sit still. I have been lucky enough to travel to Brazil and Europe and I used to teach dance.

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

One lesson I have learned is nothing is impossible. Nothing is as bad as it seems. I have watched walkers that thought they couldn’t do 60 miles do it. I have watched survivors be stronger than they thought they could be. People touch your life for reasons we don’t always know but are grateful they did.

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The Susan G. Komen Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony as the sun started to rise on a crisp fall day in Texas. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Paul Rakofsky – My Sister

I walk for my older sister who battled breast cancer and won in 2008, for my younger sister who battled and won in 2011, for my business partner who battled and won in 2012, and for five clients who have battled, one who lost the battle. And I also walk for my two-year-old granddaughter… may she not even know the disease exists. I’m Paul and I am More Than Pink.

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Amy Kowalchyk – My Mother

In March of this year, my mom―at the young age of 72―was diagnosed with stage 1, invasive, ductile carcinoma breast cancer. Because of her self-exams and yearly mammograms, it was caught early. Her cancer was surgically removed, reduced by radiation and she is now CANCER FREE! And because of the funding from Susan G. Komen for research and development on how to treat certain types of breast cancer, she did not have to undergo chemo! She is why I walk this weekend in my 7th 3-Day. I’m Amy, I walk for all of the moms out there, especially for my mom, Caroline Tollefson, and I am More Than Pink.

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Mary TenBrock – My Aunt

More than 50 years ago, my Aunt Ellen received her diagnosis. As a young wife and mother, she wished for a cure, she prayed for a miracle, and then she agreed to experimental treatments―treatments that today we call chemotherapy. Then my Aunt Shirley’s diagnosis caught everyone off guard. She taught us the importance of self-breast exams, how to live, and then lastly, she showed us how to die with grace. I walk for both of them. Lisa, Debra and Stephanie, each day you face this cancer with courage and determination, and I walk for you, too. I’m Mary and I am More Than Pink.

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Megan Weyant – My Friend

My mom was my best friend. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 11, and I started walking the 3-Day when I was 18―the summer after she passed away. Two months ago, my dear friend discovered she is BRCA positive, and now I walk for her, too. I’m Megan and I am More Than Pink.

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Sara Galvan – My Grandmother

I walk for the eight women in my family who have battled breast cancer: my grandmothers, my mom, my aunts, my cousin, my best friend. The 3-Day gives my family and me hope… hope for a future where breast cancer is a thing of the past. Hope that my daughter and granddaughter never hear the words, “you have breast cancer.” I am empowered as I walk, knowing that every step I take helps fund another minute of research, another minute your mother, daughter, sister or friend could live a full life. I’m Sara and I am More Than Pink.

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Mary Frances Hoover – My Family

Twenty-three years ago, I volunteered for my first ever Race for the Cure by handing out packets at the mall. Since then, I’ve seen such hope and inspiration in the women, men, and families fighting this disease. I walk for them and for the hope that one day we will live in a world without breast cancer. I’m Mary Frances, I am the Executive Director for Susan G. Komen North Texas, and I am More Than Pink.

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Brooke Kincade – Ceremony Host

My mom, Kathy, was first diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 10. She then battled Stage 4 breast cancer for eight years before passing away at the age of 57, leaving three daughters behind.

 

As a 6-time walker and a 2-time crew member, I participate in the 3-Day because this is where I feel closest to my mom. My mom taught me everything… except how to live without her.

 

I’m Brooke, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day!