2022 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

Congratulations to our 2022 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner Gemma G.! Gemma has participated in 13 3-Days over 10 years and has raised over $224,000 in the fight against breast cancer. We asked Gemma a few questions about her experience with the 3-Day: 

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

The first time I heard about the 3-Day was through a commercial. I remember someone on the commercial saying something like, “I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could walk 60 miles” and my eyes opened up to this; my heart was in it, and here I am today! My mom said it was meant to be, and here I am, still putting one foot in front of the other. 

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

I have made so many friends, and my job isn’t done yet. I have lost many friends and family to cancer and I want to help make a difference. 

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

Have fun and train! 

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

It isn’t easy, but raising the money takes more than just myself. The small community I live in is still behind me 110%. Their support is amazing! I might “walk the walk,” but without my family, friends and continued support of my community, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.  

Coach Staci shared a brief testimonial about Gemma: 

“Gemma is the epitome of selflessness. Over the years, she has done it all: from organizing a local run/walk to recycling. In the process she has found a way to inspire her very small community to rally behind her 110%. Gemma’s success has become her community’s passion and she is humbled by their outpouring of support.” 

Congratulations, Gemma, and thank you for your dedication to the 3-Day! 

2022 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

If you’ve ever participated in a Susan G. Komen 3-Day event, you’ve probably seen or talked to Jennifer S. Participating in 28 events over eight years, Jennifer has raised more than $91,000 to date! We talked to Jennifer about what the 3-Day means to her and even got a testimonial from her team, Pink Soles in Motion. 

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

My girlfriend, who had walked before, suggested that we walk after I finished my treatment. I was excited to show cancer that it was not the boss of me ― it could not dictate how I would live! I went after it, determined to be successful; to raise the money and walk all 60 miles. Whew! It changed me forever. 

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

I walk because I can’t walk away. That is true and there is so much more. A few hours into my first walk, I discovered that it was not about me at all, it was so much bigger. Everyone there had a story, a compelling reason for their participation, and I was overwhelmed, inspired and committed. Then, oh my heart, the young women I see in the survivor circle. This is so wrong; young women should not have to make these hard decisions. 

Somehow, once you are part of this world, you tend to meet people who are also part of this world. Do you know what I mean? I am reminded all the time of the importance of the money we raise. I am not a scientist or a doctor, but I can raise money.  

Finally, being part of our community fills my bucket. The joy, kindness and shared higher purpose of our walkers, crew and volunteers lifts me up. I believe it’s the world the way it should be, could be. 

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

I wish I had a secret :). I have been so fortunate; blessed really by people who have jumped in to help, and some who contribute every year. I am pretty much fundraising ALL the time; it might be considered an obsession. I have learned how to ask. I use the Facebook fundraiser and ask for my birthday, Christmas and of course October ― Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I tell everyone I meet what I am doing, ask them to join me and ask for a donation. I do tithe to myself, a little bit each month. I sell filled Easter eggs every year and hide them for an extra charge. Our team has a golf tournament, sells wreaths at the holidays and tamales for Christmas. I was blessed to have a couple of matchers help me this year which made a huge difference.  

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

Oh gosh. Train; train in the shoes, socks, clothes and pack you intend to use for the event. Resist the temptation to purchase something new the night or the week before. Find some veteran walkers and pick their brains. Then, relax and enjoy the event. It’s 60 miles whether you walk the whole way or ride in the sweep vans a bit. There is no judgement on the 3-Day. 

What’s a fun fact about you? 

My fun fact is that I learned to ice skate at the ripe old age of 44 and earned a gold medal in a senior competition. 

Jennifer’s team, Pink Soles in Motion, provided a brief testimonial about her: 

Everyone knows Jennifer because she is a cheerleader, a motivator, and a supporter and because Pink Soles in Motion has named her our unofficial 3-Day ambassador. Jennifer’s dedication to the 3-Day and Pink Soles in Motion has helped raise awareness for the cause and made the Pink Bubble an even better place to be. We wouldn’t be surprised if she bleeds pink! So, for a good time…walk with Jennifer!! Congratulations Jennifer! We love you.” 

Congratulations, Jennifer, on receiving this award, and for all of the accomplishments you’ve achieved from funds raised to the amount of years participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! Stay tuned for our last 2022 Milestone Award Winner Blog for the San Diego 3-Day and read about our other Milestone Award Winners here. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Chicago 3-Day Milestone Award Winner!

We’d like to congratulate Rachel B. on being our 2022 Chicago 3-Day Milestone Award Winner! Rachel has participated in 28 3-Days over the last 17 years and has raised over $241,000 to date.  

We asked Rachel how she got involved in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and how she and her team continue to be outstanding fundraisers. 

“My Mom had just finished her radiation treatment after her breast cancer diagnosis when I saw an advertisement for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. I knew that I needed to take action against the disease so my younger sister and a friend joined me for the 2005 Arizona 3-Day. We saw all of the fun names of the teams that were formed and decided on Bouncin’ Buckeyes. Buckeyes refers to our Ohio roots and Bouncin’ is a reference to the boobs. Our first year my sister raised her money within two weeks. She showed me what is possible when you ask for a certain amount of money and also inform the donor of your deadline.  

It’s important to remember why you are walking and to share this in your donation requests. I can’t imagine not having all of the memories with my Mom since she was diagnosed in 2004. I try not to take it for granted as I know many that do not get the extra time. I’m grateful for the advances in research and treatment that Susan G. Komen has provided and I know the money that I raise is making a difference.  

My Mom’s breast cancer was found from a mobile mammogram bus visiting her place of employment. They compared her mammogram to the previous year and saw a difference and sent her for a lumpectomy. Early detection and annual mammograms saved her life. Our team is a super-fundraising team so we have always had a goal to raise more than the minimum. Our supporters are generous and support us with donations to achieve our goals year over year. I also send emails throughout the year so that I am sharing our progress. After the walk, I send all of my donors a thank you card made with some 3-Day pictures and include a donation form for the next year’s 3-Day.”  

We also asked some of her friends to provide a brief testimonial to her greatness! 

“Rachel is the reason I joined the 3-Day. Her passion is contagious. She works countless hours to raise funds for herself and others. Her selfless acts and drive to raise awareness are inspiring.” — Heather G. 

“Rachel is an amazing person and a great team captain. She keeps us all focused and without her we’d be lost.” — Billy G. 

“Rachel is the most committed individual I’ve ever known. Her passion for the 3-Day and the fight against breast cancer personifies the statement, ‘We will never quit!!!’ That is why she leads our team.” — Bobbi D. 

Rachel shared with us, she is a Rodan + Fields skincare consultant and was given the opportunity to join her team on a mission trip to Ethiopia with Ordinary Hero. Rachel visited multiple orphanages and learned how critical food is to our lives. She now sponsors two families in Ethiopia, providing monthly food and allowing their children to go to school. Rachel has been back to Ethiopia once already and hopes to go again in 2023.  

Stay tuned throughout the rest of the 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series for our other Milestone Award Winners!