Meet Your New Atlanta Coach!

We are so lucky to have great 3-Day coaches nationwide. They work around the clock to share advice, give support, and help you through every step of the 3-Day process. This year, we are excited to welcome a new member to that team: Coach Jennifer in Atlanta!

Coach Jennifer began walking the 3-Day in 2006, and says the event has “changed my life in such a wonderful way!”

She’s ready to make this Atlanta 3-Day a life-changing one for all her participants, too! She has already begun working with the rest of the Atlanta team, laying the groundwork for a memorable event in October.

“What an amazing group of coaches we have working on the 3-Day, especially in Atlanta! Their drive, compassion and love of the 3-Day is admirable! I’m so fortunate to have joined such an experienced and dedicated team!” she enthuses. “The resolve of this team is truly remarkable. There is nothing they won’t do to support me (as a new coach) and more importantly, our phenomenal 3-Day community in Atlanta.”

It is the community that Jennifer is especially excited to engage with this year, as she says the cheering stations (especially ones with children) were her favorite part of the 3-Day when she walked. She looks forward to meeting all the Atlanta participants and working towards achieving Komen’s Bold Goal.

Her personal goal for 2018 is much simpler but is one she wants all participants nationwide to remember.

“I will make my appointment and have my mammogram, then encourage others to do the same. Sure, it’s not fun but the alternative is far worse!

“Knowing the statistics is frightening enough. But it’s getting to know the people affected by breast cancer that has strengthened my resolve to fight. People like Bridget, who lost her battle with breast cancer before the age of 30, and Mary, a close family friend fighting this battle every day in her mid-70s.”

She certainly embodies her favorite quote from Shakespeare, “Though she but little, she is fierce.” We are so lucky to have Jennifer and her fierce drive on our team.

Want to know more about coach Jennifer? Here are some other random facts:

  • My two yellow labs, Maya and Biggs, are my favorite buddies on this earth! I’m happiest during our daily sunrise walks around the lake in our neighborhood.
  • I find organic gardening very cool, although I wish I had more of a knack for it.
  • My career started in the TV newsroom (many years ago!), writing scripts for our anchors morning, noon, night and yes, overnight.
  • When I work out, you’re more apt to find me rolling around on a yoga mat than working up a sweat.
  • I love Excel spreadsheets!
  • These days, my all-time favorite training song is “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk. She’s fun and feisty and kind of embodies the spirit I see in our participants on event! Then of course, there’s her name 😉

Working Women’s Day: Meet 3-Day Coach Heather

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Coach Heather with her 2017 Michigan 3-Day coaching team

Today is International Women’s Day, and we are so honored to have so many amazing women working for Susan G. Komen and our 3-Day team. Everyone works hard every day to reach Komen’s Bold Goal, and to create the best 3-Day experience for our participants each year. No one knows that dedication and drive better than our local coaching teams!

On this International Women’s Day, we salute all our coaches, including our Programs & Local Events Coach for Michigan and Philadelphia, Coach Heather. She walked her first 3-Day in 2015 in Michigan and was immediately hooked! By 2017, she had joined our full-time 3-Day team and knew she would be forever changed by our family.

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Coach Heather (at left) with Coach Gayla

“The people……my co-workers, the walkers, the crew… are my favorite part of my job. Truly, being among all the awesome people involved in the 3-Day makes my heart so full! To think that even a year ago, folks who are now so special to me were completely unknown, is insane.

What I feel on the event is indescribable! To witness such concern, compassion, love, and support for other human beings is incredible. I am blessed to be able to do this every day.”

And she truly is working every day. Being a 3-Day Programs & Local Events Coach is a year-round job that includes everything from recruiting new walkers, assisting participants with fundraising and training, as well as taking part in walker meetings and training walks. They also partner with local businesses, community groups, large 3-Day teams and other groups to provide support and excitement on the 3-Day.

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This 24/7 commitment means Heather is an expert at training and fundraising, too! Her fundraising advice is simple but effective.

“Ask, ask, ask. Honestly, the worst someone can say is ‘No,’ but they usually say ‘Yes!’ If they don’t respond, ask again, and if they still haven’t responded as you get close to the 3-Day, ask one more time. Often, people have every intention of donating, but time gets away from them. A little reminder usually is appreciated.”

She also recommends using social media to spread your story. The more your donors can relate to you and your goals, the more likely they are to donate to help you make a difference. This also applies to potential new teammates! She says educating your friends, family, co-workers, even your neighbors can be a great thing when you’re looking for to expand your team.

“Be encouraging, positive, and assure potential new team members: Yes, you can walk those 60 miles! Haven’t most first-time walkers felt the same way? It’s the opportunity to be part of something incredible!”

So, join Heather and be part of something incredible in 2018. She can’t wait to welcome all the participants! She knows, and deeply appreciates, the impact that all our 3-Day participants make.

“Every day someone’s mom, daughter, wife, sister, best friend, aunt, granddaughter could hear the words ‘You have breast cancer.’ When I see little girls cheering on our walkers on the 3-Day, I hope that all the efforts put forth today will lead to a breast cancer-free world for them.”

Heather won’t stop working until that hope becomes a reality. She knows you won’t stop working either.

Walking with my Husband: Words of Wisdom from Coach Jennifer

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Happy Valentine’s Day, 3-Dayers!

In honor of the love-filled holiday, we are talking to a 3-Day couple who has been walking together, and living the 3-Day Pink Bubble in their everyday life, for years. Coach Jennifer, our Fundraising & Support Coach for the Michigan and San Diego 3-Days, has been walking with her husband Charles since 2006, and they finish each 3-Day hand in hand.

Jennifer began walking in 2002, and joined the 3-Day coaching staff in 2005, so she thinks it was only natural that Charles began walking with her only a year later. It was even his idea! Since then, they have walked in Seattle, San Diego and Philadelphia, usually on Jennifer’s team “Walk with Me.”

And walk with her he does. When she is not walking with her husband, Jennifer loves stopping for “pictures and other related shenanigans,” but with Charles, they stick together step for step.

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“When I walk with my husband, even when we are on a team, we walk together all 3 days. I’m pretty sure he would prefer me to walk faster than I do, but he is really great about sticking with me. We still take pictures but it is much lower key, which is also very nice. It’s a really nice way to spend a long weekend with him…even though we are walking 60 miles!”

Those sixty miles have taught them a lot about patience and support in their relationship overall. Whether it’s from blisters or soreness on the 3-Day, or other challenges that life throws their way, they tackle them together.

That also includes how they train for the event! Jennifer recommends that all couples who plan on walking together on-event should also train together.

“We do train together; we are definitely walkers. We have a crazy dog, Asher, that loves to walk and we also like to go on long walks together on a regular basis, even in the snow!”

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That means they’re already preparing for 2018 events! Some of her favorite memories from events past include “introducing my husband to so many of the participants I have gotten to know so well over the years. And really, just spending those 3 days completely together, on each of our walks.”

This year, however, she hopes they can take some non-3-Day-related trips, including one they have planned to Arizona. It’s all part of their desire to make every day special together! And that includes the Valentine’s Day holiday, which Jennifer says will be spent at home with a meal that (of course) includes plenty of red food coloring. 😊

What are your plans for the Valentine’s Day holiday? How do you spread the 3-Day love all year round? Tell us in the comments!