Meet Our 2017 Seven-City Walkers

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Our 2017 3-Day events are all complete, and what an amazing year it was! Our 6,600 walkers and crew raised an impressive $14.3 million towards Komen’s Bold Goal! Throughout our seven events, and many miles, there were some familiar faces in each city. We had eight seven-city walkers who were with us on every event, showing all of us just how More Than Pink they are. We are giving those walkers some 3-Day love, and sharing their stories of why they walk.

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Marilyn at far right with other Seven Cities Walkers (from left) Shelby, Kelly and Jim

You might have seen Marilyn signature pink flower crown throughout this year’s 3-Days. Why does she walk? Let’s hear it from her.

“I started this journey in 2000 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything went right — my doctor suspected something amiss; I got a mammogram; it was suspicious; I was scheduled immediately for biopsy; the result was cancer; I had a lumpectomy and then radiation and here I am 17 years later — a thriving survivor! Everything went right for me and that is why I walk.

I am compelled to raise money for breast cancer research as there are so many who did not — nor will not — have my experience. So many die. So many live with Stage 4 and never know when their next chemo will be their last. As a very healthy 71-year-old woman, I find it my duty to be of service in this manner. I was given a great healthy life — I want what I have for all! My first walk was in 2011 in Philadelphia and have walked nine walks thus far and raised over $25,000 — it just seems like a very natural thing to have walked all seven walks this year to bring the vision of hope to as many as I can.”

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Ellen has been an avid supporter of Susan G. Komen for over a decade! This year she was proud to walk once again.

“I walk with the Susan G. Komen family because I know people that have been diagnosed fought and won; fought and lost; that continue to fight and live with metastatic breast cancer. I walk with the Komen family because I know families who have had the financial burden of treatment lifted through monetary help from Susan G. Komen, for women who were able to receive a free mammogram because of Komen monies. Susan G. Komen has been in the forefront on educating the general public both in the US and internationally. The funds we raise go to supporting Komen’s efforts to fund research, help those going through breast cancer treatments, fund mammograms, and raise awareness and educate. And that research will bring cures.”

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Jeryl was a sunshiny addition to every mile she walked on the 3-Day! Sixty miles a weekend, in time for her 60th birthday!

“2017 marks my sixth-year walking! This month, I turn 60 and in celebration I took on the challenge of walking all seven cities! What better way to celebrate than walking 60 miles seven times in honor of fighters and survivors and in memory of the angels that this disease has taken way too soon. The seven cities will be my 9th-16th Susan G. Komen 3-Day events.”

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June at left with fellow Seven City Walker, Kelly

Jeryl walked many of her miles alongside her new friend, June. June walks in memory of her family member, and for all the names she lists on her 3-Day T-shirts.

“I believe in the 3-Day walk and all that it stands for. I have made some amazing memories, I have met new and wonderful friends and with every walk I do, I am contributing to a great cause.

I started walking with my grandchildren’s other grandmother’s name on a t-shirt, In Memory of Kaye Duncan. To date, I feature as many as 40 names on my shirt. I add names to my t-shirt every year and this year, I decided I wanted to do more. So, I participated in all seven cities!

The experience of walking in the 3-Day is one that I wholeheartedly enjoy. The event is inspiring, uplifting and spreads a lot of hope to all the families who have ever been effected by this awful disease.”

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Two other friends who walked together this year were Kelly and Shelby; the birthday girls! Kelly explained why they both walked this year.

“This year I celebrated a milestone birthday. I decided to do something BIG, not for myself, but for a cause I truly believe in. So, I signed up to walk all seven cities!

In 2003, I walked my first 3-Day event in Los Angeles. I did it as a personal challenge. I didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I trained, (not well enough), I fundraised, and I kissed my family goodbye for the weekend. At the time, I had no idea how my life would be affected by my experiences that weekend. I cried. I laughed. I met some amazing people. I became part of the 3-Day family, and I was hooked! […]

I can now list many family, friends and co-workers who are breast cancer survivors and some who were warriors. I walk for them. I walk for their loved ones. I walk for my loved ones. I walk because I can.”

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Shelby echoes those statements.

“This year I turn 40, so I’m celebrating my 40th birthday by doing something bigger than me. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and fundraising beyond what I thought possible to help someone else and see an end to breast cancer.

I am lucky to be sharing this experience with my friend Kelly, who is also celebrating a milestone birthday, this year we are — 40 & 50 Walking 60!”

Karen Kay caught the 3-Day bug back in 2003, and since then she has walked dozens of times, including being a 5-time 7-City Walker! She is proud of every step.

“In the past 13 years, I have walked in 54 walks. This year, I walked in all seven cities again (this will be my fifth year in a row walking in all seven cities). To walk 420 miles seems like the least I can do when so many others aren’t able to walk at all. I want to walk — to make a bold statement and presence — to put an end to breast cancer forever and to support those who are fighting this disease and those who have lost loved ones to this disease.”

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Our only male seven-city walker is Jim Hillman, who many walkers recognize on every event for his big smile, welcoming hugs, and all his picture-taking! He has walked 56 times and raised more than $150,000 for the 3-Day so far!

“Why do I walk? I believe the answer is clear. I walk because I want to see an end to breast cancer, and the devastation it causes. I walk because I don’t want my wife, my daughter, my sister, my nieces, my family and friends to deal with it… ever! To borrow from Susan G. Komen: ‘We walk because we must. We walk for the cure!’

Someday we will make one final walk, a walk of celebration that breast cancer has been defeated, a cure has been found. We will all walk together, with our sign saying, We walked for a cure! The cure has been found! I look forward to that day of celebration, the day breast cancer becomes past tense.”

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Christa Cannon also signed up to be one of our seven-city walkers this year, but sadly lost her battle to breast cancer before she could walk. We carried her in hearts, and with Smokey T Bear, through all our 2017 events. In addition, all our seven-cities walkers wore Christa’s name on their credentials on our final walk in San Diego this year. They walked in her honor.

When she signed up in early 2017, Christa has this to say about her 3-Day journey.

“I began my journey with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Chicago, August 2013. I was walking as a breast cancer survivor that year after having been diagnosed in June. I carry a banner with me each day that I walk with the name of loved ones lost to breast cancer.

Shortly after that Chicago 3-Day I was diagnosed with breast cancer again. It was the last thing I would have ever expected to hear from my doctor. More surgery, more chemotherapy and more blood transfusions followed. In early 2014 I was declared cancer free and I decided to walk in two 3-Days that year.

The cancer free feeling didn’t last long as I was again diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2014. Triple negative breast cancer is what I have and there is no known cure at this time. I am committed to finding a cure for breast cancer and I refuse to let this disease win.”

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Thank you to all our walkers, including this amazing group, for a phenomenal year. We can’t wait to have you all back in 2018 and for those of you who walk once or twice or more, we are a family and can’t wait to see you out there again next year! Register today!

2017 San Diego 3-Day Round-Up

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The 3-Day headed south for our final event of the year, and was welcomed to California and the West Coast with open arms! We started our Friday morning with a little liquid sunshine, followed by an amazing double rainbow, as the Opening Ceremony began. Our 2,200 walkers and 325 crew started their journey with an inspiring and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants.

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The walkers filed out of the iconic Del Mar Fairgrounds and into the community, where they were greeted by tons of local cheering stations and support. By Mile 3, they also passed the famous “Toast Lady,” one of our favorite walker stalkers, who toasted all the walkers as they passed.

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Then they conquered the Torrey Pines Hill, our biggest hill of the weekend! They were greeted at the bottom by more cheers, and an amazing view of the California coastline. By the time they reached Pit Two at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walkers had already conquered 5.1 miles.

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Walkers made their way through the University of Southern California, San Diego campus in the afternoon and lunched at Kellogg Park along the beach.

There were more cheering stations and smiles throughout the end of Day One, before walkers headed home to camp at Crown Point Shores Park.

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Day Two started with a walk along the water just outside of camp, and another hill in downtown San Diego. Walkers reached the top with smiles on their faces though, because they had already clocked 4 miles on the day.

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Before lunch, they stopped at Pit 3 at Dog Beach South, and our walkers loved seeing all the four-legged 3-Day fans. Then, they took a break at lunch on our comfy pink Mohawk Mats and kept loose by dancing with the San Diego Police Department.

We also met our amazing Youth Corps at lunch, and walkers were greeted with hundreds of pink blooms as they left lunch.

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From there, they traveled through Bonita Cove and South Mission Beach Park before coming back home to camp. It was Friends & Family night at camp, complete with an evening dance party! Many of our walkers also visited our Remembrance Tents to honor loved ones lost.

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Day Three started with a quick 4.4 miles before arriving at Pit Stop 1 at De Anza Cove Park. From there, walkers wound their way through the picturesque San Diego neighborhoods and climbed the infamous San Juan Street Hill for amazing city views.

The second half of the day passed quickly, with stops at Balboa Park before coming to a close at Waterfront Park along the bay. Walkers celebrated with hugs, smiles and dancing as they completed their 60-mile journey.

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After all of our walkers crossed our beautiful pink finish line, we celebrated together at Closing Ceremony. As the sun set on our 3-Day season, there was much to be proud of, given that our amazing 2,200 walkers and 325 crew members raised $6.5 million this weekend!

Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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As we hugged and celebrated and danced together, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, San Diego. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.

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Seattle 3-Day Route Preview

In September, the 3-Day is taking us to the Pacific Northwest. Here we come, Seattle 3-Day!

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For returning walkers, this walk will be a welcome combination of all their favorite spots, combined with a few updates we have made based on participant feedback from last year. There were some big changes to the route last year, so for this year we just made some small updates to the 2016 route.

Our Seattle Event Production Manager, Ann Love, says, “I’m so glad that we were able to take a new route that was so well-received last year, and make a few changes to make people even happier! We made some nice updates!”

Those updates include a new spot for lunch on Day One, at the Downtown Park at Bellevue. We had lunch at the park a few years ago, but due to construction on the site, we haven’t been in there in a while, so this will be our first year back in the beautiful park! This is one of Ann’s favorite spots on Day 1 because there is a waterfall, a beautiful pond full of ducks, stadium seating and even a cool play area. If walkers still have energy after their first few miles, Ann recommends playing in the park!

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There are still plenty of well-known favorite sites on the Day One route, including the Opening Ceremony at the Space Needle, and camp in Redmond at Marymoor Park.

Ann promises newcomers that the park is “really large and beautiful! It’s an awesome camp spot!”

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After a restful night’s sleep in our park campground, much of Day Two will be spent along the waterfront in Kirkland.

Ann says this is usually “everyone’s favorite part” of the walk, and will offer a lot of great photo opportunities. Don’t forget to use #SEA3Day when you post your photos on social media!

You will also see some fun local cheering stations on the Day Two route.

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Those include the Parrot Heads of Puget Sound, who will be on Snyder’s Corner in Kirkland. You can enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffet as they support your every step! There will also be the Shore Cheerleaders in the morning and Woodinville Cheerleaders in the afternoon to help keep all our walkers motivated.

Also, keep an eye out for photo ops at Heritage, Grass Lawn and even Google Park. There is plenty to see and enjoy throughout the day!

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In addition, Coach Stephanie Mayer says to keep an eye out for the famous Lil Smokies Guys, who will be out every day of the weekend to cheer on the walkers!

Day Three has the most changes to the route from last year, all based on participant feedback from last year’s walkers. These include removing some stairs from the walk!

“These are all changes for the better that should make our walkers happy!” according to Ann.

The North Queens Drill Team will be out cheering the walkers on Sunday morning. They are a military precision marching and flag team. The team enables girls 8-20 the opportunity to march in parades and competitions, to learn sportsmanship, leadership, discipline, and responsibility. This is a favorite part of the walk for Coach Stephanie!

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There is also Gas Works Park, located on the north shore of Lake Union. You’ll hit this park around mile 6.8. and be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Seattle skyline from here!

Another site to look out for on Day Three will be the Woodland Park Rose Garden. The route will take walkers past the park, but we encourage walkers to take a slight detour to go in to explore and take photos!

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Then we will complete our 60 miles back at the Space Needle! What spots are you most looking forward to on the Seattle 3-Day?