3-Day Family Fun with Dan Sinclair

If you didn’t already know that August is Family Fun Month, don’t worry! You still have a few days to make the most of this festive month by enjoying some sunshiny summer fun with your favorite people. Whether your family walks with you on the 3-Day or you just lean on them during your 3-Day journey, family is part of everything that the 3-Day stands for.

Someone who knows that all too well is Dan Sinclair from Michigan. 3-Dayers will recognize his smiling face (and pink ponytail) from his time as a walker and Route Safety Crew member. He has been participating in the 3-Day in various ways since 2002, many times alongside his family. This year, however, was different.

This year in Michigan was the first time he walked with his daughter Dawn and two of his granddaughters, Emma and Megan. It was that combination of special women that meant so much to Dan.

“My daughter has walked a lot, and I’ve crewed and walked a lot. But we’ve never gotten to walk together. So, being able to walk together with her, and her daughter, was magical. It culminated everything we have done and was super fun.

It was also important because I walked with my granddaughter, who’s 16. That’s why we walk. She’s the reason. My reason. Being at the Closing Ceremony with all of them was just a magical moment.”

He is not the only one who feels this way. Other members of his family have joined him on his 3-Day journey to support the women in their lives. Aside from Dawn, Emma and Megan, his Michigan 3-Day team included his sister-in-law Sue, nephew Dave and niece Michelle, plus his “Navy sister” Sherry and her son Robbie. Dan met Sherry on the 3-Day years ago, and though they were united by a shared history in the military, it was the 3-Day that really brought them together. Sherry and Robbie came in from Texas to be a part of Dan’s team, “70, Surviving and Sweeping.”

But Dan’s love and dedication goes beyond his family, and even beyond his team to the whole 3-Day community. He is participating in six 3-Days this year (only missing Dallas/Fort Worth) and appreciates that the 3-Day brings out happiness and love all around.

“You get to see people at their kindest. At their best.”

He hopes that some of that spirit rubs off on his family, especially a certain someone…

“I’m hoping that my granddaughter picks some of this up. She’s a really good kid already! And she’s been glowing since that weekend. This walk ain’t for sissies! And she did it!”

Other lessons he would pass on to families who 3-Day together are:

  • “Learn kindness through adversity. Life isn’t always pleasant, and if you lose it, you’ve lost it. You can’t take words and actions back. So just be kind.”
  • “Be careful and plan your fundraising! We had 11 people on the same team, all fundraising at the same time. You have to start early and plan ahead! Put your goal out there early and remind people. Work together and plan and hope for a little bit of luck.”
  • And finally, “Be prepared to cry together. It’s a happy cry, but you will cry.”

Though his own family won’t be with him on the rest of his 2019 3-Days, he knows he won’t be alone this fall. He has another family to look forward to.

“My family says, ‘Oh, Dad’s out playing in the Pink Bubble!’ They go back to school and I go to my pink family.”

We’re honored to have Dan, and all the other families who participate with us, as part of our pink family. We can’t wait to share more fun, love and kindness with all of them, in August and beyond.

2019 Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day Wrap-Up

Our first 3-Day of 2019 was one we’ll remember for a long time to come! From the sunshine, to the comfort of our new hotel camp, to the many memories that our Michigan 3-Dayers made over the course of the weekend. The community support was unparalleled, the Youth Corps sprinkled their magic throughout the journey, and our Crew provided support and expertise every step of the way. To say we’re going to look back on this weekend with a smile is quite an understatement.

And it all started with our updated Opening Ceremony on Friday morning! We gathered inside one of our host hotels and highlighted several people in the Michigan community who have committed so much of their heart and soul to Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal over the years. We also recognized survivors and those who live with metastatic breast cancer. These strong women and men led our walkers out of the hall and into the sun, kicking off our Michigan 3-Day in style.

The walk began through our new 3-Day pink tunnel of fun, sponsored by Amgen, and out onto the sidewalks and trails of Novi. Walkers were greeted at pit stop 1 by the much-loved BOOBees and even got Panera bagels for the perfect kick-off to their journey. From there, they passed by our first local cheering station and headed to pit stop 2 at Meadowbrook Elementary School. Cheerleaders, grahamwiches and some very important stretching carried them through to lunch at the 11.8 mile mark.

Lunch was back at Meadowbrook Elementary, and walkers relaxed in the shade (Thank you, Mohawk, for those cool new shade tents!) before tackling the second half of their day in Novi. The Novi Senior Center at pit stop 3 was a high point of the afternoon, as walkers loved the support and cheering from the local seniors. A quick stop in Rotary Park ended the day, and then our last walker returned to the hotel to raise our 3-Day flag and complete Day One.

We celebrated those first 19.5 miles with a new game of 3-Day bingo and practiced the dance our participants would break out at lunch at the Halfway Point. Then it was time for some much-needed sleep (and showers!) to rest up for Day Two.

Saturday dawned bright and beautiful with our Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we honored our top Michigan fundraisers and teams (including two new awards: the “Small But Mighty Team” Award and “Rookie of the Year” Award), as well as our Michigan Milestone and Local Impact winner. We were so happy to celebrate their contributions!

From there, walkers headed through Northville, spending time in local parks and on shady trails. Once they arrived in Plymouth, the energy hit a peak thanks to the amazing community cheering station at Kellogg Park…complete with the pink fountain! Our walkers stretched out in the grass, danced under the sun and soaked in all the excitement of Plymouth.

That enthusiasm continued into lunch, where we had a special new halfway celebration! Photo ops, flash dance mobs, and all kinds of goodies made this lunch extra special. We were halfway to 60 miles, after all!

After lunch, walkers trekked through Northville and back into Novi before ending back home at our hotel camp. Those Bank of America massage chairs and the famous 3-Day mac and cheese were waiting to welcome them! After our last walkers came safely back home, we had a special evening Honor Ceremony, where we heard some beautiful, moving stories from local Michigan participants and the Youth Corps about why they have chosen to commit 3 days, and how Susan G. Komen has affected their lives. Before the night concluded, we invited all participants to leave a memory in our Honor Garden, and to visit the Remembrance room. It was a solemn but inspiring reminder of how much of a difference everyone makes by being a part of the 3-Day. We are excited to bring this emotional, inspiring experience to all seven cities this year.

Sunday, our final day in Michigan, began with a quick bus ride into Livonia, where our walkers started their final day of walking. That walk included stepping through Livonia, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, along with a stop at the picturesque and shady York Park for lunch. Our 3-Day Crew pulled out all the stops for the final day of walking, from the “Eat, Sleep, Cure. We are here to Serve.” camp services team, to our out of this world Crew at pit stop 3 and beyond. The day ended, as it has in the past few years, at the Ford World Headquarters.

Walkers passed underneath the Amgen pink tunnel and across the finish line, hands held, and smiles turned up to the sunshine. For hours, there were almost 50 volunteers from our presenting sponsor, Bank of America, there to cheer our walkers in as they conquered 60 miles in unity and strength. Our last walker arrived home and raised the flag to help us kick off our new Closing Ceremony in style. With our last walker starting our celebration, our survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer led the rest of our Michigan family into the Closing Ceremony. We celebrated all that we have accomplished in Michigan, thanked those who helped us along the way, and acknowledged the great deeds done over the last 3 days. The 2019 Michigan 3-Day raised $1.2 million in the fight against breast cancer!

Our weekend ended with a dance party in the afternoon sun, and many hugs and smiles shared with all our 400 walkers and 200 crew. Our first 3-Day of 2019 is complete, but we have so much more work to do! Twin Cities, we will see you soon…

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!