Meet Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain

 

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All photos via Ian Glenn

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to make sure to recognize all the men, whether they are fathers or not, who make up our 3-Day family. One such amazing guy is Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain, husband, father and all-around super 3-Dayer.

When Ian began dating his now-wife Missy in 2005, she was already a 3-Day walker, and she brought him into the 3-Day family. Year by year, Ian became even more involved.

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“After a few years of being the Day 1 chauffeur, I joked with Missy that the only way I’d seriously consider participating was if I could ride my motorcycle on the event as a crew member. She didn’t miss a beat when she told me that the safety crew had bicycles and motorcycles on it. I knew that she was always excited leading up to the event, and had nothing but good things to say about it after, so I had no choice but to try to get on the route safety crew.”

After Ian joined the safety crew, the whole family started getting involved, beginning with their oldest son Gaven and now including their daughter Alex, both of whom are in the Youth Corps.

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“I think it’s fantastic that the event is accessible to all ages, and we can include our kids in something that is bigger than us, and bigger than our family. It has been a good lesson for them that working for the greater good, and giving of themselves in service to others, is incredibly rewarding. I think too, that it has gone a long way for us to have something shared amongst our family, something that will continue to bring us together year after year, no matter how old the kids get.”

Whether they are walking or volunteering or crewing, Ian and his family know the true value of the 3-Day crew, and want others to join them this year!

“As a longtime crew member, I can say that volunteering your time on the crew is vital to the success and atmosphere of the event. Having crew members smiling, and cheering, and being there to support the walkers when they’re tired, and their feet hurt, and they’re hot, it just makes their day. We’re there to support the walkers on their journey and let them know that they’re appreciated, and we support what they’re doing. The can-do attitude of the crew makes the hard work not so hard, and even fun.”

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If you want to walk those 60 miles though, the Glenn family won’t be the only ones cheering you on. Ian says that no one should be nervous about starting their 3-Day walking journey.

“I think making the leap as a walker is scary, but incredibly rewarding. There are lots of resources in your participant center on training, and packing, and general help. If you reach out on social media, you won’t find a more caring, supportive group of people to meet and go on training walks, or fundraising tips, or even shoe recommendations.”

That support and community have extended beyond the online community and into their lives.

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“Many of our longtime friends we’ve met on the 3-Day and continue to have contact with them all the time. It’s a physical and mental challenge, there’s no doubt, but with the right support, a new walker can do it, and have a great time too.”

It’s more than just fun and family for Ian. Though his three days and many miles of service are an investment, he does them gladly, to make a difference for his family and beyond.

“It’s a satisfied feeling that is hard to put into words. After the long weekend, and the work is over, I find myself renewed every year, and I am reminded that despite everything that is going on in the world, there are lots of great people who care about big causes, and have committed to support them any way they can.

The walkers and other crew give me way more every year than I feel I give back, but I think the feeling is mutual, and that’s why I keep coming back.”

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Don’t count the Glenn family out of their involvement anytime soon either! There are more Glenns to come as 3-Day volunteers and walkers.

“Our almost 9-year-old is practically counting the days until he can apply for Youth Corps. It’s rewarding  to see that enthusiasm from all our kids for something that doesn’t directly benefit them.”

 

 

Bringing Your Bestie to the 3-Day is the Best

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A best friend is a powerful thing. They make you laugh, support you when you’re down, challenge and drive you to be better, and sometimes know you even better than you know yourself. All this, and more, makes a best friend a pretty perfect partner to have at your side on the 3-Day.

Bring your bestie, and this year could be your best 3-Day yet! If you need more convincing, we have stories from coaches and walkers about how their besties brought them into the 3-Day family and helped them take those extra steps to get through all 60 miles. We also have several promotions this month that can bring you and your besties to the 3-Day in style. Read on for inspiration, information, and smiles!

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Stephanie Jo from Facebook  – “Walking with you got me through, Jessi Wendland! We were walking for 2 amazing Julies [my aunt Julie & her mom Julie].”

Tisho Jessop, Philadelphia Participant Coach: “My BFF got me started on this whole adventure! In January of 2008 she called me and said “I keep seeing these TV ads for a 60-mile breast cancer walk. Is that something we should do?”

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Judith and I have been friends since 1988. We were roommates after college, we were each other’s Maid/Matron of Honor and we both have a connection to breast cancer. Both of her grandmothers had it (one passed from it and the other was a survivor who passed of another cause). When Judith called me I was in the midst of losing my Aunt Barbara, who died about 5 weeks later.

We went to a Get Started Meeting and ended up forming Team BFF to walk the 3-Day that October. It was such a bonding experience and we loved every minute of it. 11 events, 9 years and $27,000 later I’m still an avid 3-Dayer and I will always be grateful that my BFF knew this would be a healing and passion-finding event for me.”

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Faren Ann from Twitter: “One of my favorite walking friends shares a birthday with me (next Monday!) I am so happy she is part of my life bcuz of #the3day!”

She also later shared that her friend Laura “is bringing some great friends to Philly who I am looking forward to loving as much as I ❤️ her!”

Julie Bagel, also from Twitter, had a similar story! She and Faren connected when she shared: “Small world, because TWO of my favorite walking friends share a birthday! 😉 xoxo”

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Gayla Cruikshank, Dallas/Fort Worth Local Events Coach: “I hosted a Walk & Talk recently where I met up with Jeri Cliff (front left) with Angels for the Cure along with her daughter, Khristy and granddaughter, Bailie.

Jeri decided after the 2016 Michigan 3-Day that she would “retire” and hang up her 3-Day walking shoes. That was until her granddaughter, Bailie turned 16 in March and was finally eligible to participate as a walker. Bailie has been supporting and cheering for her grandmother for the past five years from the cheer stations. She let her mom and grandmother know that she wanted to walk this year. When the VIP Slumber Party promotion was launched, Jeri figured this was a perfect opportunity to “come out of retirement” and walk with her daughter and granddaughter for their first event.”

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If you haven’t heard of our Slumber Party promotion, don’t worry, there’s still time! Now through April 19th, if you recruit two new walkers to register for the 3-Day, you earn a VIP Slumber Party or two-night hotel stay. The VIP tent sleeps four people, so there is plenty of room for you and your best friends. It comes with comfy blow-up mattresses, phone chargers, specialty 3-Day pajama bottoms and more! Talk about a best friend glamping weekend!

To learn even more about bringing your besties to the 3-Day with you, we will have a special Facebook Live chat with Coach Gayla this week! On Thursday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. Coach Gayla of Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day coaches will talk with Jeri, Sue, and Rhonda as they share their tips and tricks for growing your team, getting ready for the 3-Day, and all the fun promotions we have going on now. Don’t miss it!

What are some of your favorite memories of the 3-Day with your best friends? Share in the comments!

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Sister, Sister: Meet Angela and Shelly

The bond between sisters is truly unique and special, but the bond between “Titsters” is even deeper! Just ask Angela and Shelly, a sister duo who are part of the 3 Day family. Angela is currently battling breast cancer, and Shelly walks for Team Titster in the Twin Cities 3-Day in her honor.

From a young age, these two were joined at the hip, which meant Angela getting all her hair cut off when Shelly wanted to play “beauty parlor” or putting on plays and concerts together in their neighborhood. These “Titsters,” Angela’s childhood name for her sister, have been there for each other through it all.

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That journey and support also includes Angela’s ongoing fight with breast cancer, one that Shelly has been a part of since Angela’s diagnosis. Angela was initially diagnosed with cancer when she was seven months pregnant, and her sister “was there immediately to ensure she was there for the birth of my baby girl and to hold my hand during my first chemotherapy. During that chemotherapy, all we did was laugh at videos, reminisce on memories, and I think about that more than being sick after the treatment.”

“After I completed my treatment after my first round of breast cancer, I went to a pretty dark place. The mental and physical struggle after treatment can be more challenging than anything. Woman and men feel more alone than ever. They have constant help, messages, and support during treatment, but what happens after is way more crucial. During treatment, we are in survival mode and cannot fully comprehend that we are going through cancer. Once treatment is done, the messages and help dwindle but the pain is still there. Our body is adjusting and still combatting the toll of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation. Mentally, we never recover. The constant thought of recurrence always lingers and life is never the same. At the same time, we gain strength in a different way and look at the world and see that life is a gift. We cherish memories differently, we see the kindness of family and our community, and know that every day counts.”

Angela’s treatment will continue for the rest of her life, as she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in January of 2016. Stage IV research made up nearly 40% of Susan G. Komen’s overall research investment in 2016, with more than $166 million in funding for over 400 research grants and more than 40 clinical trials focused on metastatic disease to date. Aside from research and monetary support, Angela says she is constantly amazed by the support she receives from her family and even the community at large.

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“What is so enlightening with all these clinical trials is that everything is so new at this point. And it is scary regardless, but what I like to tell people is that every day is a gift, but also a battle. Cancer is not going to control my life. It’s always going to be a part of me, but it does not define me.

“I’m also confident that I will live my life to inspire people and show people that despite being diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t define you. I keep a happy journal, and at the end of every day I write my favorite part of the day, whether it’s a wonderful moment with my kids or a great conversation with my sister.”

3day20153Angela also credits Shelly as her rock, even from states away.

“The bond I have with my sister has helped me tremendously with this struggle and she truly showcases the bond that sisters have. She was there to comfort me and help me understand this it’s okay to still cry, but more importantly to laugh. We live in different states and I know that signing up for the 3-Day was just another way to show that she’s always there to face my battles with me, even if we cannot do it together.”

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Part of Shelly’s support has come through her involvement in the 3-Day, which began as a crew member and has continued as a walker and fundraiser for the team she formed last year, Team Titster. Her first year on the 3-Day was a monumental one.

“When I signed up to be in the crew, part of the sign-up mentioned possibly being a part of the Opening or Closing Ceremony, speaking and carrying the sister flag,” Shelly explained when talking about speaking at her first walk. “The day before the walk at Crew Training, I met a bunch of very friendly, fun gals, who when I spoke on stage the next morning, cheered me on, even though I was nervous, and even though I was a stranger to them up until the day before. That has been my experience with everyone connected to the walk. Just good people.”

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For her second year with the 3 Day, Shelly took to the trails and walked in her sister’s honor.

“When I decided to walk the next year, I was a little intimidated by the fundraising. But I found that when I reached out to my network to let them know why I was walking, and asked them to consider donating, people were more than willing to support me and Angie and the cause. I also found that almost every one of them had a connection to breast cancer. That alone is sad, but it motivated me even more to walk for those who also had loved ones battling or had battled the disease.”

Shelly helped her fundraising cause by casting a wide net for her initial email ask with a link to her page, along with a write up about Angela and a picture of “my little sister hero.” She also writes a 3-Day blog and shares that along with thank you cards to all her supporters to help them feel like they were there for her journey along the 60 miles.

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When she started Team Titster in her third year on the 3-Day, Shelly expanded her fundraising email list and worked on her social media to raise even more. She targeted her competitive spirit and eventually raised more than $2,000 more than her first year. She was also the #7 Top Fundraiser for the Twin Cities 3-Day.

This success is no surprise to Angela, who has always been inspired and supported by their sisterhood.

“Shelly has always been my role model, and is someone that I’m inspired to be like. She is always the first person I want to talk to when I’m having a bad day, but more importantly, I want to talk to her in my great days.”

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The love is certainly mutual, with Shelly calling Angela a super hero.

“Angie is small in stature but big in personality, perseverance and mostly in heart. She is feisty and fun, outgoing and stubborn, and those are all things we have in common. […] I realize that I have the best sister in the world. She doesn’t judge me, she’s been there for me when others have not been, and I am so proud of her in every way possible. Angie is my heart.”

That heart is going to finally experience the 3-Day for the first time this year. Angela will be making the trip from Chicago to the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2017 to cheer on Team Titster, which Shelly hopes to grow this year as well.

“I’m excited to be there the first time to cheer on my sister and Team Titster!” Angela enthuses. “I’m also happy to be able to volunteer and see the 3-Day. I’m thrilled and a bit nervous for the emotional experience but more importantly, I can’t wait to see and listen to the inspiring stories, and to hold the hands of Team Titster and fellow walkers.

“I know this walk means a lot to Shelly, and I know that every mile she walks, she truly is walking in my shoes to take some of the pain away. I’ve always looked up to my sister. She has more determination, heart and spirit than anyone I’ve ever met. I’ve also come to realize that those qualities are what inspires me to fight harder every day.”

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Shelly echoes that determination, saying that the 3-Day is “emotional (lots of crying, both happy and heart wrenching), challenging (walking and training to walk 60 miles is no easy feat), and unforgettable (experiences and memories that are priceless and make you want to come back).”

Both Angela and Shelly will continue to come back as walkers, volunteers or supporters, until a cure is found.

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“There is still no cure for breast cancer,” Shelly states simply. “That in itself gives me purpose and determination to keep doing the walks. My favorite button on my 3-Day water pack is ‘Every Blister Saves a Sister.’ I am prone to blisters, no matter how much training I do, (last year, I had 11 by the end of Day 3) so walking until there is a cure is something I feel like I can do, and will try to keep doing until there is no more breast cancer. Blisters do not hurt, physically or emotionally, as much as cancer does. And of course, my sister inspires me, not just to do the walk, but she inspires me every day.”

The power of sisterhood on the 3-Day is real, and every step makes a difference.