Congratulations to the 2019 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Melissa Melson

For the 2019 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2019 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Melissa Melson!

Her Team Captain, Janice Shore, raves about Melissa!

“The Hines Pink Pathers are so very happy that Melissa is receiving this award! Melissa is considerate and kind to all she encounters and is always willing to help with questions or problems, whether it is 3-Day related or not. Melissa really puts her heart and soul into everything she does including her commitment and dedication to the 3-Day!”

We got to know Melissa a little better, and learn more about the serious impact she has had on the Michigan 3-Day. When she was answering these questions, she didn’t yet know that she’d be our award winner!

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?   

I am not sure what it was. It was just a feeling truthfully. I had heard about it before and the end of 2011 on the radio and was inspired by the 3-Day message and ad. I heard the advertisement on the radio and I just felt like I had to sign up. I was stuck in traffic and it just felt like the right thing to do.

My mom’s mom had breast cancer probably 20 years prior but no one else had it when I first walked. Despite not really knowing people diagnosed when I first signed up, that was soon to change, and it turns out the 3Day was leading me right where I needed to be! My mom ended up being diagnosed right after the end of my first walk with stage 2 almost 3 breast cancer. The following spring a classmate was diagnosed at age 30 with Triple negative breast cancer, and she died 3 years later. Many more have been diagnosed over these last 7 or 8 years including my stepmom as well.  Watching then fight such a hard fight made me frustrated and I needed to do something. Unbeknownst to me, the 3-Day helped me find my way to help, my purpose before I knew I needed it.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year? 

The people I met on my first 3-Day became the family I got to choose. It was an amazing positive and proactive environment despite having a rough first walk. I didn’t train like I should have. I didn’t have the right shoes, and I didn’t know anyone really when I started. I was about 80 lbs heavier, but the happy pink bubble draws me back every year. I could have had blisters and sore muscles from head to toe, and I would still come back year after year.

It’s also the list of names I walk for that grows each year unfortunately.  More people need me. I feel like I need to raise money for those who can’t and walk for those who are unable to. This walk gives me a way to help, a way to deal with a feeling of helplessness to help my loved ones when I cannot cure their cancer or take their pain away.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success? 

Start early, do a variety of things, and join a team if you need the extra support to help, give you ideas, and they can help you train and be better prepared too. I send emails and reminders. Just because someone doesn’t donate this year doesn’t mean they won’t next year, or that their busy life won’t get them sidetracked and they forget.

Contact local businesses, talk to your job to see what you can do there. You can do online fundraisers where you can reach people outside your neighborhood or social circle. Try a lot of different things because what works for one community might not work well in yours. What works for your friends might not be as successful with the people you know, so broaden your reach and try a variety of types of fundraisers until you figure out what works for you.

What is your best advice to anyone participating in the 3-Day?  

Be prepared (train, good shoes, and focus on health going in) but also have fun. Don’t rush, stop and enjoy the pink roses lol. Enjoy all the beautiful people and the 3Day family. This is a pink bubble, that is unlike anywhere or anything else in the world.

What’s a fun fact about you? 

I was just on Channel 4 news, interviewed by Paula Tutman for a recently developing passion! I’ve always cared about the environment and animals and living creatures. I think pesticides that kill bees and pollinators are not good for us either and I can do something to help pollinators and the world we live in. I found out a way to help and started my own pollinator and environmentally friendly flower garden. It is over 15 ft long and about 4 feet wide and doing pretty well considering this is my first year as a gardener.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?  

  • Do what you can, the best you can.
  • One step at a time.
  • I cannot tap out until Cancer does first.
  • Great shoes go a long way.
  • Health and hydration sure make life easier!

Congratulations, Melissa!

Congratulations to the 2018 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder

Milena Schroder Pic 2.jpg

For the 2018 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year.

Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2018 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder.

Milena Schroeder San Diego Local Impact Winner Pic 1

Milena’s sister Trina says, “Several years ago, my sister convinced me to walk the 3-Day walk with her. I was hesitant, but she was relentless in her decision and wanted to share this journey with me to honor our mother, Riitta, who lost her battle to breast cancer 23 years ago. What began as two sisters joining the 3-Day became a crusade of women who Milena mobilized and inspired to join. Milena’s leadership would continue on through three separate 3-Day walks, countless fundraisers, training walks, and a community of women….. all created through a passionate plea to end breast cancer. Why go small when you can create a band of sisters, a team, to take this cause to the next level? Milena has done just that, and her devotion to this cause is inspiring. I am so thankful to be her sister and her 3-Day teammate.”

Milena tells us more about her More Than Pink way of life…

Milena Schroeder with her sister_San Diego

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?  

I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 48. She had a long battle and during her fight, I also lost my father to cancer. He passed on when I was 18 and she passed when I was 22. This shaped me in so many ways. I walk for their memory and I also walk for my children and husband. We have 6 children together and my goal is that they never have to experience this loss. This walk brings my parents back to me in a sense each year that I walk and lets my children see and know their grandparents as well as see their mother fight for a cause.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

When I first started the walk, I reached out to our neighborhood mom’s Facebook group.  I was blown away by the response from the other moms. Our team keeps growing and with our 3rd year, we have formed lasting friendships and amazing memories.  Plus, as a team we have raised over $175,000 together. The experience itself is incredible and the beautiful team mates who have all been touched by cancer in some way or form bring me back year after year.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

I ask everyone, and I mean everyone I know! I am always surprised by who ends up donating each year and the connections and ways people have been touched by breast cancer. It seems like there are so many who have had someone in their lives affected by breast cancer. Their stories when they donate always touch my heart

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Train! You don’t need to over-train but at least get out there and walk for long periods of time. Even those on our team who have done marathons say that walking is a totally different experience for them. Being on your feet for that long is tough and unexpected. Also, enjoy the 3 day and keep your ears, heart, and eyes open. The walk is unlike anything you will ever do again and is such an amazing experience. It’s why I keep coming back year after year.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have 6 kids! My husband and I have 5 boys and 1 girl and their ages range from 16 down to our 5 year old twin boys. My husband handles all of them with finesse on the weekends as my training ramps up in September, October, and November. Its a total family team effort. We are a loud, crazy, and fun family. I also teach full time and am surrounded by children at all times. I joke that I wake up to children, teach children, carpool and feed children, and with someone always crawling into bed with me, I never am not around children!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

That the experience is different for everyone and to take the time to hear their stories.  The 3-Day is taxing on your body but what I take away each year is what has touched my heart.

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak

Michelle Beniak

For the 2018 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year.

Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak.

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Michelle is a 6-year breast cancer survivor, and a 9-year 3-Day participant. This year, she is Co-Captain of team Pink Soles in Motion in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Pink Soles in Motion’s other captain, Catrina Gibson, says Michelle “is always willing to take on any task she is handed and tackles it with a smile. From planning and leading training walks, setting up shoe clinics at local retailers or manning the 3-Day booth at Race for the Cure, Michelle always gets it done.”

Coach Gayla echoes that sentiment, saying, “Michelle has been an incredible teammate for the Pink Soles in Motion team for years. She’s a survivor and has helped ME on many occasions. I’ve always been able to count on her to meet me somewhere to chat with a new participant, send people to her when looking for a team to join, man the booth at a Race for the Cure and/or More Than Pink Walk. Her positive promotion of the 3-Day inspires me and so many to get or stay involved.”

IMG_2164Michelle told us more about her 3-Day story…

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?  

I thought it would be a great challenge.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

As a survivor, I feel the need to continue raising awareness and funds for finding a cure.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

As part of a large team, we have several events throughout the year which helps a lot. In addition, finding people who work where their company matches donations has probably been the single most important “secret” to fundraising.

IMG_2167What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Train! If you find you still cannot walk the entire event, remember to walk out of opening ceremony, into camp/out of camp and into the closing ceremony. You won’t regret one minute!

What’s a fun fact about you? 

I have 10 grand-kids (+1 due in December) and 2 great-grand-kids!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

Friendships can be made in mere seconds and last a lifetime. My motto is, “Strangers are family you haven’t met yet.”