A Salute to the 3-Day Medical Crew

Today is National Nurse’s Day, and we are honored to have many accomplished nurses as part of our 3-Day Medical Crew. Along with doctors, physician’s assistants and other medical professionals, these nurses keep all our 3-Day participants safe and healthy during the 3-Day weekend.

To celebrate them, and nurses across the country, we had a few of our 3-Day Medical Crew Captains share their 3-Day stories.

Barb Diamond Johnson, Medical Captain at the Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Days

My commitment to the 3-Day and our local Komen affiliate is thanks to the care my mom received when her insurance fell short. Her care was funded by Susan G. Komen. I initially did the 3-Day in 2007 as a way to pay that back. My intention was to be one and done. But I’m still here…haha! My husband, two daughters, and son-in-law all now participate, too. I even met my current three best friends through the 3-Day.

I have so many amazing memories from my time on the 3-Day…

Years ago, my grandmother lived in Oregon. She used to help take care of the “neighbor girl.” I was in college at this point. I don’t ever remember hearing the neighbor girl’s name. My 1st year in Seattle, (Medical Lead) Jason Page assigned a social worker to my crew. I felt very drawn to her and would continue to have dinner with her when I would come to Seattle to visit my oldest daughter. Later while visiting with her, someone asked where she grew up. She mentioned the town where my grandparents lived. Lo and behold, she is that same neighbor girl! I had quite an ugly cry at that moment. We both now have bracelets that say “Gramma Glady’s Girls.”

Then, another year, we had a participant with Stage IV breast cancer whose family had been pushing her through the event. She would nap at lunch on our cots. Dr. Jim Lummus pushed her from Pit Stop 4 into the Participant Finish Area. We all were affected and inspired by her courage.

I have so many funny memories, and even a few moments of intense emotion, all from the 3-Day.

Robin Knapmiller, Medical Team Captain at the Twin Cities and San Diego 3-Days

It’s hard to express in words the love and appreciation I have for my Medical Team, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize them and thank them for all they do. They have shown over and over the ability to work with complete strangers in a new environment, and to do so with love and compassion, what a gift! I truly believe the personal connection makes a difference in the lives of the walkers. I have seen over and over how they not only treat the blisters and illnesses…but really get to know the walkers by name, share in their stories, meet their families and cry both happy and sad tears together! Sending love and thanks to ALL the3Day Medical Crew. You truly are THE BEST!

I am so honored to be among you, and to have my family at my side too! My daughter Jenni grew up watching me work the event, but since there was not a Youth Corps then, she had to wait until she was older to help. In 2013, Jenni got her Nursing Degree and we could finally work the events together. We haven’t missed a year since!  

Do you have a member of the medical crew who you would like to salute? Are you a medical crew member with a memory from the 3-Day to share? Tell us in the comments! We are honored to have so many talented medical professionals keeping us safe all weekend long.

For more stories about our 3-Day Medical Crew, you can check out these blog posts:

Meet Dr. Brionn T., Twin Cities 3-Day Medical Crew Lead

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Our Medical Crew is a key component of our 3-Day family and experience. They keep us safe and strong as we embark on a 60-mile weekend together. We are thankful for them every day, but specifically today, on National Doctor’s Day.

On this day, we want to thank the men and women who volunteer their time to keep our 3-Day family safe and sound. That includes Dr. Brionn T., Program Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Minnesota Health… and Twin Cities 3-Day Medical Crew member!

Brionn first became involved in the 3-Day almost five years ago, when a colleague got in touch with him to encourage people from their department to volunteer, as well as recruit the trainees that Brionn works with at the hospital.

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“We in the medical field have a very unique skill set. Most people go into healthcare to help people, and we’re fortunate that a lot of times we get paid to do it. But there are a lot of cases where people can benefit from medical care where we might not get paid to help. And those times are even more important!”

In his first year on event, Brionn camped overnight in the medical tent, instead of his own. He wanted to be there just in case anyone needed anything, all night long.

“I can still remember seeing that sea of pink tents for the first time! That, and the Closing Ceremony, was memorable and powerful, and will stay with me.”

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He hopes memories like that will also stay with the doctors and trainees he recruits to come back to the 3-Day with him year after year. The connections he makes with his fellow crew are ones he now treasures and looks forward to each year. He calls it a “reunion” and knows that any involvement with the 3-Day comes with its own sense of accomplishment.

“Even if I don’t walk, we help people get across the finish line. It’s about being part of the team, treating all the walkers and getting them moving again!”

That strikes the perfect balance of teamwork making the dream work, which, for Brionn is at the heart of the 3-Day.

“It’s fun… with a mission.”

This mission is now part of Brionn’s life all year, and he encourages everyone; doctors, volunteers, walkers, and more, to join him.

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When asked what he would say to get someone to join the 3-Day for the first time, he said, “Just jump in! You’re not going to regret either walking or volunteering. Find what works for you and just do it. You’ll make friends. You’ll feel accomplished and you will never be upset that you came out and did it.”

We’re certainly not upset that Brionn joined the 3-Day. Thank you Brionn, and all our Medical Crew, for coming out and being there whenever we need you.