Why Do We Love Our Besties? We’ll Spell It Out for You!

Your best friends are the family you get to choose. They know all your secrets, were there to laugh at every embarrassing moment, and have supported you through any tough time. What better person than your bestie, then, to bring on the 3-Day with you?

In honor of best friends, the 3-Day is so excited about our “Bring Your Besties” program again this year! We want to help you, and your best friends, get off on the right foot this 3-Day season.

We want to give new participants the chance to see the 3-Day magic for the first time. And we want to give past participants the chance to relive their first 3-Day journey, this time with one of their best friends by their side. Free travel is available for any new walker who registers by April 19 with the code BYB17*

That way, no matter where they live, you can have your besties by your side!

*Visit The3Day.org/Bestie for important details about this offer.

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Need any more motivation to start recruiting your pals to walk with you? Here are a few reasons why we think nothing could be better than the 3-Day with your besties.

B … is for Being side by side with my friends as we cross the finish line after 60 miles together.

E … is for Each and Every person who has fought, or is still fighting, against cancer.

S … is for Survivors standing tall and strong, beacons of hope for those who fight.

T … is for Together we can do anything. Together we are More Than Pink.

I … is for I will not give up. You will not give up. We will never give up.

E … is for Everyone you love supporting you with donations and encouragement.

S … is for Susan G. Komen® and our shared mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Your besties mean everything to you. With their help, and you by their side, let’s walk to end breast cancer forever. Visit The3Day.org/Bestie now. 

Best Friends and 3-Dayers: Meet Christi K. and Her Bestie from Cassie’s Cups

There are a few things that almost everyone loves. Chocolate and best friends are two of those things.

For Christi Kokaisel, chocolate and besties go hand and hand. Christi and her best friend Cassie walked side by side in more than five 3-Day journeys in the Twin Cities with lots of chocolate close at hand.

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Cassie was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 years old in 2010. She was diagnosed two more times over the next six years, but that never stopped her from being a mom, friend, and 3-Day team leader for Cassie’s Cups. Over the years, the team size ebbed and flowed, but their love of chocolate and each other never wavered. Christi says this was largely due to Cassie’s strength and passion.

“She was kind of that perfect best friend. She was very opinionated but always very sweet and caring. She would remember things like me having a presentation at work and call me on that day and ask about it. Things that other people don’t remember,” said Christi.

“She was also very proud that she always went into work and lived a normal life, even when she was going through treatment. She wanted everything to be as normal as it could be.”

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Cassie, Christi and their team are anything but normal, however, and in the best way.

Now well-known at the Twin Cities 3-Day, they always have peanut butter cups, Cassie’s favorite, on hand to keep their team, and others, going for every one of the 60 miles. Christi explains that even though she and Cassie jokingly referred to the 3-Day as their “second job,” they really saw the 3-Day as another family.

“As soon as you get to Opening Ceremony, and you step out there, you just become part of this giant family. You’re with a mass amount of people, but you’re all there for the same reason. Over those three days, it’s so motivating. As hard and sad as it can be, meeting all these people with stories to tell, you really do become a family.”

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Christi and all of Cassie’s Cups leaned on that 3-Day family last year, when they lost Cassie just a few weeks before the walk. Her father was able to walk in her place, and her absence was felt throughout the 3-Day, but Christi said it couldn’t have gone any other way.

“It would not have seemed right to not continue to do the walk. […] Despite the horrible things we had been through, there was something uplifting about fundraising and why we were walking. It was a renewed energy to pull it off, and it was a very inspiring event for us.”

This inspiration was especially important for the new walkers on their large team. Christi says that is what their team prides themselves on: never-ending support.

“We had some people last year who weren’t in the best shape but really wanted to walk. And I always tell people to just set goals for themselves. If you want to walk 10 miles a day, there are buses. They will take care of you! Set personal goals, and so long as you fundraise, you’ll be good. […] You’re there for the right reason, and you’ve fundraised, so do what you can.”

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Every little bit helps, and everything is encouraged on this team. Christi says questions about fundraising are one of the main concerns she still sees for all her team members, but she always encourages people not to get discouraged too early. Anything is possible!

“Especially for new walkers, you are tapping into a new family and group of friends so don’t underestimate the power of simply asking for donations. Sadly, everyone has a connection, and to know that someone is doing this walk is very inspiring. Especially with new walkers, you can see people do most of their fundraising just by asking.”

“We really do work as a team though. Once someone hits their goal, and someone else hasn’t, then I keep pushing for them. We really make sure that down to the last minute, we are pushing for everyone else. We lean on our team.”

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This year, Christi is once again hoping to be the largest team in the Twin Cities, but she’s also fulfilling a long-time goal of her and Cassie’s by walking in the San Diego 3-Day as well.

Last year, “it was really motivating to see how all of Cassie’s network of family and friends came together and did this.”

So this year, even if she won’t be able to walk alongside her best friend, she’ll always Cassie in her heart…along with peanut butter cups.

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Tips for Making a Bestie on the 3-Day

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There’s nothing quite like meeting someone, and knowing they’re going to be your new best friend. Someone who has the same interests, listens to the same music, and is passionate about the same causes as you are. Plus, they’re fun to talk to!

On the 3-Day, we walk with old friends, and make new ones on the trail. When we are all walking for a common cause, and it helps pass the time to have someone to walk, sing, dance, day dream, and even share secrets with. Naturally, many of our walkers meet new lifelong friends along their 3-Day journey.

Want to make this the year you meet a new bestie who is More Than Pink™, just like you? We have some tips, including stories and ideas from coaches and walkers who have done exactly that…

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Take the first step:

Jennifer Hanskat, Michigan 3-Day Participant Support Coach, says you should never be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone to encourage people to walk with you. Don’t be afraid to even ask strangers! They might turn into best friends over 60 miles.

“I sent out an email to the moms’ group from my son’s school asking if anyone wanted to walk with me. Not even 5 minutes after I hit send I got a response from a mom named Susan. Susan was 100% on board and told me she was registering right then! Even though we didn’t know each other then, we became besties and 14 years later have walked and crewed many 3-Day events since then.”

It might seem daunting or crazy, but asking people in different parts of your life to walk with you, especially if you would otherwise be walking alone, can lead to new friends or the creation of a team.

That’s how it worked for Laura from the Twin Cities’ Northern Nippy’s team. She has walked with just one or two friends in years past, but has also walked with thirty or more people on her team. “The more I talked about it, the more of my friends wanted to try it!” It never hurts to ask.

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Connect on social media:

So, you’ve registered and found a friend or two who are interested in walking with you. Want to grow your group even more? Check out social media and the 3-Day online community.

Walkers connect, give tips, share concerns and ideas, and more on the 3-Day Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and message boards.

Jana Kono from Arizona is one such 3-Dayer, who has used Twitter to talk with a growing group who support each other all year long. “There is an amazing group of walkers and crew who have become the best friends. We do a secret pal swap all year and reveal #BFFs.”

Other walkers, like Kristin from Alabama, met friends on the 3-Day and have used social media as a way to stay in touch. She says (via tweet), “How do you explain the beginning of a wonderful friendship in 140 characters? I met my friend Crystal at Day 1 lunch in ’12!”

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You can also use the 3-Day Friend Finder to locate people who are looking for friends to make strides with. It’s new and improved this year so you can now search by location, by participant type, even by walking speed to connect with fellow walkers and crew.

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Attend training walks:

If you’d rather find your bestie in person, or need extra motivation in your training, find training walks in your area at The3Day.org/TrainingWalks and RSVP. Showing up is half the battle after all!

Stephanie Mayer, Twin Cities 3-Day Local Events Coach, says she definitely recommends attending training walks in your local area. “These are a great way to meet people and exchange fundraising ideas. If you’re a solo walker you may even find a team to join!”

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Be bold:

If you arrive at the 3-Day still not knowing anyone, it’s never too late!

Lauri Yanis has walked and crewed in a number of different cities and says on her first walk, back in 2002, she approached the first day with a specific goal. “I set myself the personal challenge that I was going to pretend that every person I met was really interested in meeting me. I was going to approach everybody and make friends as a big, self-confidence activity. And it worked!”

She has met many long-term friends, and even her husband Matt, on the 3-Day.

(PS You’ll learn more about Lauri and Matt next week for Valentine’s Day, so be sure to check back!)

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Make the 3-Day a vacation:

The fun doesn’t have to only last for 3 days! Arrive early with your friends or teammates and get one last training walk in the day before your 3-Day officially starts. Or extend your stay a few days after the Closing Ceremony.

Faren Ann from San Diego says she and her 3-Day Tweep friends make it a whole affair each year. “Besides on event, we travel together and shared Friendsgiving in (San Diego) the last 2 years.”

You could also plan a much needed spa day for you and your new besties!

How have you made friends on your 3-Day experience? Share your story with us!