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


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.


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.


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.

Meet Philly’s 3-Day Fighter: Walker Caren S.


On the 3-Day, it’s not uncommon to meet people who walk for their friends, their families, themselves or people they know who have been affected by breast cancer. Caren S. didn’t know anyone who had been affected by breast cancer – until, just one day after walking the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day, she found out that SHE was now living with the disease.


In 2017, Caren walked her first 3-Day in Philadelphia. She didn’t know anyone with breast cancer, but had been inspired to join the 3-Day after seeing a woman wearing one of our Victory T-Shirts while she was running a half marathon. Caren trained and walked all on her own, coming in from Boston just to make that 60-mile, 3-Day journey. Right after the Closing Ceremony, she headed home…to what turned out to be a whole new world.

“The day after the walk ended, I drove back to Boston and immediately to a doctor’s appointment I had scheduled months in advance. It was just an appointment to get a prescription refill, but since this was a new physician’s assistant, she insisted on doing a well woman exam. Well, that PA found a lump in my breast. Flash forward to today, and I have stage 3 HER2+ breast cancer.”

Carol and Caren

This turn of events is one that many who are diagnosed with breast cancer know all too well. It immediately gave Caren “a whole new appreciation for Susan G. Komen, the 3-Day, all of the coaches, all of the volunteers, the survivors and the caregivers,” and has inspired her to already begin planning her 2018 walk goals.

One of them is to be walking as a survivor. And she’s going to approach that goal like one of her favorite movie characters.

“I’m obsessed with Rocky, literally. And during one of his fights, after 11 rounds of being beaten to a pulp, Rocky stood toe to toe with his opponent, looked him in the eye and confidently said, “I’m still standing here.” To me, that’s what the word “survivor” means. After chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, possible radiation, and 9 additional months of infusions, when I can say, “I’m still standing here,” that’s when I can call myself a survivor. To me, a survivor is someone who stood toe to toe with cancer, took all the hits, and kept moving forward until they beat it, scars, short hair and all.”


As she continues to undergo treatment, battling her own scars, she’s also encouraging people to join her in 2018 on the 3-Day! It’s all part of her goal to keep moving forward, and she wants as many people as possible to join her on her journey.

“Between the volunteers, staff and other walkers, someone will always have your back and make sure you get what you need! I would say that the cause for which you are walking, mixed with the stories you hear over the 3 days, as well as the gorgeous and fun scenery, will make it an event you will remember for a lifetime. It’s all worth it as you’re walking.”

Me and Alyssa

Caren plans on walking throughout her treatment, though her training plan is different this year than last. Her heart has been weakened by her infusions so she will be bringing a friend with her for long walks, for the extra fun and support. She also gets help from her training playlist, which now doubles as her chemo playlist, too. The songs that pump her up and keep her going? Unsurprisingly they include the “Rocky” playlist, as well as:

  • “It’s A Fight” by Three 6 Mafia
  • “Stronger” by Kanye West
  • “Let the River Run” by Carly Simon
  • “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy
  • “Watch Me Shine” by Vanessa Carlton

And shine she will. She’s going to keep fighting, and like her pal Rocky, she’s never down for the count.

“I live my life by my favorite movie quote of all time, which was said by Rocky in Rocky Balboa:

‘It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward?’ That’s something I remind myself on a daily basis.”





Learn More About the 3-Day Host Cities

We are almost done with our 2017 3-Days, and we can’t believe how the time has flown! It has been an amazing few months, and we are all excited to close out our year in San Diego next week. The support and love from all our host cities has been just what our participants needed to complete their 60-Mile journeys.

To spread our excitement for our final event, and get you ready for our 2018 walks, we have made photo slideshows of some of our favorite spots you’ve seen on the 3-Day routes.

Whether you were walking in your own home town, or traveling to a 3-Day city far away, take a look below! Also, click on the city you’ll be walking in 2018 to link to our coaches’ Facebook pages. They are a wonderful resource for everything you’ll need to know about the 3-Day now and for next year.


Twin Cities




Dallas/Fort Worth

San Diego

What are you most looking forward to seeing on the 3-Day? Tell us in the comments below!