Focusing on Spreading Positivity with Survivor and 3-Dayer, Elaine

When I walked across the finish line, and my son wrapped me up in a hug and whispered, “I’m so proud of you Mom,” that went straight from my ear to my heart.

If you walked the 3-Day in Seattle or Atlanta this year, you likely saw Elaine. Or heard her! She’s a solo walker known for her constant smile and jingling outfits that signal her presence even before you see her coming.

This year marked her 9th and 10th 3-Days respectively, and her first year really highlighting her survivor story as part of our partnership with Mohawk Flooring. She says that recognition was never really something she looked for, and as a solo walker, not something she always got. She flew under the radar and made her 3-Day connections in the smaller moments. This year changed that for her.

“To have Mark say ‘Hi!’ to me by name in the morning, or to see the photographer on the route, I feel like the arms have truly been opened to me and I have been fully welcomed into the fold. And I have felt that support and recognition so much this year. I’ve been able to share my story and my message this year in a different way, even after doing this for 8 years. The arms have been opened wide. It’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful welcome.”

The 3-Day family first welcomed Elaine eight years ago, when she walked her first 3-Day while in the middle of radiation. She had already signed up for the 3-Day before her diagnosis and had even sent out more than 100 fundraising letters! She knew she knew she had reached her fundraising goals and felt that she could meet her physical goals as well. Her doctor gave her approval to walk and told her to listen to her body. So, she did. And she walked every one of those 60 miles.

Along the way, she had her first welcome from the 3-Day Pink Bubble.

“I met two Crew ladies on my first walk in Seattle. I was nervous about wearing a survivor shirt and they just enveloped me in this hug. And I was bawling, and they just kept telling me that I could do this. And to be held by them, and feel that support, was everything to me.”

She has continued to have similar memories and stories over the last decade, making new friends each year and finding new strength with every step.

“Whatever you believe in, it’s a comfort to know that there’s a plan. And it’s tough to think, “How could this be part of a plan?” But meeting those ladies on my first 3-Day, or talking to women in Atlanta this year, it just shows me that these things are meant to be this way.

I’m a pretty positive person, and I try to focus on that positive outcome. So, this has been my way to do my part.”

She also does her part year-round, fundraising all year and encouraging those around her to learn about their breast health.

“I want to shake strangers and remind people to go get their mammograms! Just go do it! Early detection is everything. I talk to everybody, whether it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month or not.”

She finished her 10th walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year, and her son was there to welcome her across the finish line. Though her journey has been long and difficult, she says being a survivor has helped her find more compassion for herself daily, and that the 3-Day has shown her the worth that she brings to the world time and time again.

“It is so much more filled with compassion for me, and for anyone else who has this diagnosis. I can be so much nicer to myself, and the 3-Day helped me with that.

The universe draws us to where we need to be. The universe drew me here to the 3-Day.”

My 3-Day Experience: Checking in with Former AVON 39 Walker, Lenore

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This year on the 3-Day, we were happy and honored to welcome many past-AVON 39 walkers to our pink family. One of those walkers, Lenore C., joined our 2018 Philadelphia 3-Day along with a few of her past AVON 39 teammates.

When we talked to her before the event, she said her desire to join the 3-Day came from the simple knowledge that “we can do more together” in the fight against breast cancer.

Now, with those 60-miles behind her, Lenore says she had a stellar experience both preparing for, and walking in the 3-Day.

“I even really enjoyed my fundraising! My husband’s yoga students helped, the Transformation Made Easy digital community supported me tremendously and 3-Day fundraiser emails were essential!

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As for training, the 3-Day app was so great. It connected with my calendar, so I could see what I needed to do every day. It was fun and challenging! I got people to go with me on training walks. I took advantage of my environment and explored new paths. I listened to podcasts while I walked alone — thank you Being Here, Audible and Audiobooks. They were amazing company! I listened to all the Harry Potter books!”

After all that support and training, Lenore approached the weekend in Philadelphia with excitement. She found our Opening Ceremony inspiring, but she said she loved the walker stalkers and Crew support most of all.

“It was comforting and hilarious to share snacks and stories with them. The Youth Corps are also the best! Their cheering and chanting were terrific for matching my own enthusiasm. I was charged up all the way!”

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As a Philadelphia native returning home for the walk, she also liked the variety in the route, and getting to see everything from “unique and artsy shopping areas to the great spans of green by the Schukyill River to the iconic Rocky Statue and the Liberty Bell” all in one weekend.

And then, after all those sights and steps, she came to the finish line.

“I felt proud and honored. Honored by the presence of all those who supported me personally in my journey that honors my body and my perseverance. Grateful for my body’s responding positively to my demands and also grateful to the bodies of those who can only dream of being able to walk 60 miles but have truly journeyed so much further in overcoming breast cancer.”

She was glad to honor those in her own life who had been affected by breast cancer, including her stepmom, Geri, her best friend’s mom, Rosie, and her first boyfriend’s sister, Crisse. It was their memory that kept her moving all weekend, and she even finished faster than she thought she would.

“I found myself speeding up as I approached the arch and could not and did not resist dancing across that finish line. I kept dancing and was joined by the emcee! It was a blast, our impromptu party! My friends’ and my husband’s smiles, applause and congratulations were elevating!”

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She even ended up walking 4 more miles along the route to her car, cheering on those approaching the finish line as she went. She says she also showed off her medal proudly. 😊

So, after all that training, fundraising, walking, and yes, even a little dancing…will she be back in 2019? You bet!

“Oh, yes! I’ll be back! I plan to raise even more money! I think I’ll auction off some specific miles and take photos as proof! I might even promise to execute dares for extra pledges — like walk backwards for 1 or selfies with a man in pink or a pink girl doing a cartwheel… something cooler but, like those are my ideas for now.”

We have no doubt that Lenore will continue to make her 3-Day experience an extraordinary one.

If you want to join Lenore in 2019, the time to sign up is NOW! If you register at The3Day.org by 11:55 PM CST TONIGHT 12/6, you’ll automatically get 50% off your registration fee—no special codes required!

Come and walk with us.

Motivation Monday: Top 10 Inspiring Quotes About Bold Goals

Monday is a time for fresh starts. For new beginnings. As we look forward to this week, the upcoming 3-Days of 2018, and the years to come, we know that anything is possible. We are making steps every day towards achieving our own goals, and Komen’s Bold Goal.

Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal was laid out in 2016, setting the objective to reduce the current number of U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026. Now and always, we are rallying supporters to take the extra step—to make a bigger, bolder impact and be More Than Pink®.

Come and join us! You can still sign up for the remaining 3-Days of this year, and get involved with Komen and the 3-Day in other ways too!

If you need some extra motivation to join our cause, or to achieve your own personal goals for this week, we have you covered! Here are our Top 10 favorite quotes about setting bold goals…

“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.” — Venus Williams

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” —Jim Rohn

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” — LL Cool J

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” — Tony Robbins

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” —Oprah Winfrey

“You have to be vigorous. That’s the only way you are going to get it because everybody has dreams and everybody has goals, but the only people who achieve them are the ones that go after it and don’t take no for an answer.” — Nick Cannon

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” —Orison Swett Marden

“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.” — J.K. Rowling

“Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” — Muhammad Ali

What are your favorite inspiring quotes? Tell us in the comments!