Please join us in congratulating our 2017 Seattle Milestone Award Winner; Erin Havens. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Seattle 3-Day camp show, we presented Erin with this special honor.
To get to know Erin better, we asked the 3-Day community for stories about her, and the response was glowing all around!
Participant Veronica Claudio says, “I have been blessed to know Erin since I was very young, as she was one of my mom’s dearest friends. Our families spent lots of time together back in the day – from family camping trips, poker nights, and holidays. When my mom, Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was only 7 years old. I remember Erin was often at our house helping my mom or accompanying her to chemo appointments. Or sometimes, just singing karaoke. They both loved to do that together!
“In 2005, my mom had planned to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, and Erin was one of the first team members of CC’s Crewzers. Just before the walk, my mom’s cancer came back. My momma is a true fighter, and while still determined to complete the walk, she realized the only way she could do was with the help of a wheelchair, and teammates like Erin who took turns pushing her for parts of the 60 miles. I have watched Erin become an incredible advocate for a cure to breast cancer and breast cancer awareness through her tireless efforts for Komen. I believe losing Claudia, my momma, and her good friend, is a big part of her determination to fight breast cancer through her volunteering and raising money.
I have cheered Erin on in her trademark pink tutu at cheering stations, handed her countless Lil’ Smokies, and have hugged and cried with her at nearly every 3-Day walk she has participated in. I lost my beautiful momma to metastatic breast cancer when I was 15 years old and Erin has remained a part of mine and my family’s life for many years. I am honored and proud to call her a friend and an “extra mom.” I chose to walk after many years of cheering and supporting the walkers and I was honored that Erin also decided to walk with my dad and I as part of CC’s Crewzers.”
Veronica continues, “I was blessed to have 15 years with my beautiful mom and am honored to walk on the team she started in 2005 with Erin. I don’t know anyone that has given so generously of her time, talents, and resources to this cause and I am so grateful and privileged to be able to have had Erin as a part of my life.”
If all those wonderful stories weren’t enough, participant Tiffany Davenport also raves about Erin!
“I’m so happy for Erin! She absolutely deserves to be honored for her dedication, passion and commitment to the cause! I got to work with Erin on the Youth Corps last year and I am so thankful! She is so much fun and brings such light and energy to the event!”
Marnie Hayes kept the love-fest going!
“I first met Erin at a getting started meeting about 9 years ago, when I first joined the 3-Day family. Erin has been very involved in the 3-Day the entire time I have been part of the three-day. Not only does she have connection with the little Smokey guys…”GO SMOKIES!” her daughter was also part of the Youth Corps. I have gotten to know Erin as both a walker and a crew member as I was honored to be part of the Youth Corps with her last year. It is very apparent in Erin’s dedication that she has a true passion for the cause.”
Those are some seriously kind words! Now let’s hear about the 3-Day and Erin’s story in her own words. When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
My dear friend Claudia was fighting breast cancer and asked me to walk with her. I told her I would donate, but didn’t think walking 60 miles sounded like something I wanted to do. She asked me to please attend an informational meeting, and of course I signed up that night!
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
I love the survivors who give me hope, the walkers who share stories, the crew who keeps me safe and well fed, the strangers along the way who lift me up and remind me how important it is to keep fundraising for the cures, and the opportunity to share the memories of my friend who lost her battle with this disease.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
Asking often and making sure that everyone knows WHY this walk is so personal to me. Every fundraising post on Facebook should tell people YOUR why.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Enjoy every minute! Connect with other walkers and share stories, reach out to single walkers, high-five all the people at cheering stations, eat all the grahamwiches, and be sure to stick around at night to hear the Youth Corps share their stories during the camp show.
What are fun facts about you?
I hate spiders but am fascinated by bats; one of my toes was crushed by a randomly falling steel pole 5 months before the 3-Day; I sneeze no less than 5 times in a row every time; people think I’m insane for doing 21 3-Day events, but I assure them I’m not alone!
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
Don’t get your Advil PM mixed with your regular Advil, if you lose a toenail you can get a fake one, wearing a tutu results in fewer blisters, and the people you meet on the walk become family.