We Crew for MaMa Tutu: Meet Ken and Kris Kauker

The sign says it all!

Eight family members. More than 30 events. Walkers, crew, youth corps, walker stalkers. The Kauker and Lawrie families have the 3-Day running through their veins. And that includes Ken and Kris Kauker. Most Philadelphia 3-Dayers know them as the TuTu Brothers and remember their fun outfits and wide smiles as they ride by while on the Safety Crew.

They are just a small part of a true family movement to support the 3-Day’s mission, in memory of their mother, Julie Kauker (MaMa TuTu), who passed away from inflammatory breast cancer in 2011. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, Ken and Kris are giving us a deeper look at their family’s dedication to the 3-Day, and the love for their parents that started it all.

2018 Atlanta 3-Day TuTuBros.jpg

Meet the Kauker/Lawrie family (TuTu family) members…

Our family of five was always a close family. We did everything together: family camping on the weekends, participating and watching sporting events, vacations to local destinations, working behind-the-scene at our local community theatre and even performing as a colonial family at local historic sites.

Thankfully, many of those things we still do. And yes, still as a family. At the head of the family were our parents. Mom and Dad (MaMa and PaPa TuTu) were involved with everything the family did. No one family member would ever end up being the only one. This goes for everything we do. If one of us is involved, we are all involved.

2014 Philadelphi 3Day Kathleen holding moms photo.jpg

And then in 2006, everything changed…

When our Mom was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, she wasn’t the only one getting ready for the battle. We were all involved with every aspect of the treatments, doctor’s visits, hospital stays and everything else that goes along with it. She didn’t go anywhere alone. Someone was always there taking notes, holding all the paperwork, asking all the questions and anything else we could do to make things a little easier.

Things moved quickly through chemo treatments, surgeries, and radiation treatments. We describe the days after a diagnosis like riding a roller coaster. There were the days of climbing the hills. There were the days of flying down the hill. There were the days of screaming around curves. There were days of being turned upside down. There were days when all we could do is hold on and scream in fear. But, like with all rollercoasters, the ride came to an end.

With the help of countless doctors and countless nurses, Mom was given a clean bill of health and the road to recovery was complete. And just like riding a rollercoaster, we laughed and were joyous that the ride was over.

2016 Philadelphia 3Day

From there, the family began to move forward…

With everything behind us, it was a radio commercial that sparked the realization to pay it forward and the medium in which to do it. The commercial was for the Philadelphia 3-Day that would be taking place in October. It was this commercial that pushed our family into the realm of the 3-Day family.

And they never looked back…

Our 3-Day family has been with us since 2008. They’ve been there when we needed them and when we didn’t know we needed them. They were there when our Mom passed away and again 10 months later when our Dad passed away. They provided the light down the dark passages that cancer and losing someone forces you to go down. Every city that we’ve crewed has welcomed all of us with loving, open arms and made us a part of their family.

The Philadelphia 3-Day may be our home event, but when it comes down to it, the Crew is a part of every walk, no matter what city it takes place in.

That means our family is always part of the 3-Day, no matter where we are.

2018 Philadelphia 3-Day Family.jpg

Spread the love this Mother’s Day to the special women in your own life! You can share a personalized love note with your mom this Mother’s Day and Susan G. Komen will then share one with a mother facing breast cancer. komen.org/withlovexoxo

Meet Your Philadelphia 3-Day Coach

15123305_10102738817933765_8419522640972906898_o

In 2004, one of Carol’s family friends passed away from inflammatory breast cancer, only 6 months after she was diagnosed. That was a moment that changed Carol’s life, because it prompted her to sign up for the 3-Day the minute she saw a commercial for the walk. Though she wasn’t able to participate until a few years later due to pregnancy (and the awesome kids that followed), she has had the 3-Day in her life ever since that year.

Over the years she has formed lasting friendships with 3-Day participants and continued to be exposed to more people in her own life who were directly affected by breast cancer. She’s learned the importance of the event, and the work that Susan G. Komen does year-round, which led her to want to be more involved in the 3-Day. And this year, she achieved that goal when she became our new Philadelphia 3-Day coach! She is already jazzed for the fall, and to engage with all our participants in a new way.

If you haven’t met her on the 3-Day yet, get to know her now, before she helps you tackle those 60 miles in Philly.

Carol 5

What are some of your favorite 3-Day memories?

Favorite memories are so hard to choose from 12 years of events, but here goes!

  • First, the Closing Ceremony when I received a gift of earrings from a walker I did not even know. The song “Suddenly I See” became my inspiration after that, thanks to that happy memory.
  • An interaction with a very dear woman who taught me the importance of being your own best advocate. Her family continues to remind me of the goodness that exists in the world, when you shut out all the other noise.
  • Strangers becoming friends and pulling together to support one another in difficult times.

How did you find your way to the coaching job this past fall?

I found my way to the coaching job through not only my passion for the event, but my outgoing personality and can-do attitude. I was blessed with the opportunity. I have walked, I have crewed, I have volunteered, I have made myself available to the 3-Day as I will make myself available to its participants.

Carol 6

What are you most excited for the 2019 event?

The thing that I am looking forward to the most is to the opportunity to share my passion with others.  I also look forward to making new connections and hearing new stories and helping others make new lasting connections.

What do you love most about the 3-Day Crew?

They give selflessly of themselves day after day, and whether it is their first event or their 20th event, they continue to give of themselves without asking for anything in return.

What are you top training tips for walkers?

  • Training is KEY and it’s also important to find the correct shoe/sock combination. Be sure to train in all types of weather and elevation if you can.
  • It is a walk not a race, so take your time and do not forget to stretch at every opportunity.
  • Hydration is SO important. Drink a lot and encourage others to do the same.

Carol 3

If someone is nervous about doing the 3-Day for the first time, what would you say to them?

I would share with them that not only are they not alone in that emotion, but that they will never be alone on the event. On the 3-Day we are one community that unites together for a common goal. No one walks alone and no one gets left behind. You will always be supported. Do not ever be afraid to ask for help because there will always be someone there for you.

In 2019, we are asking people to #COMMIT3DAYS …What does commitment mean to you?

To commit 3 days means that you are committing to the cause. I am committing myself to do what I can so that others are successful in their goals. We can all do this together!

What are some things your 3-Dayers should know about you?

I never shy away from a challenge! And I put my all into everything I do. 😊 Plus, I hear I look great in pink! 😉

Carol 2

My 3-Day Experience: Checking in with Former AVON 39 Walker, Lenore

Photo

This year on the 3-Day, we were happy and honored to welcome many past-AVON 39 walkers to our pink family. One of those walkers, Lenore C., joined our 2018 Philadelphia 3-Day along with a few of her past AVON 39 teammates.

When we talked to her before the event, she said her desire to join the 3-Day came from the simple knowledge that “we can do more together” in the fight against breast cancer.

Now, with those 60-miles behind her, Lenore says she had a stellar experience both preparing for, and walking in the 3-Day.

“I even really enjoyed my fundraising! My husband’s yoga students helped, the Transformation Made Easy digital community supported me tremendously and 3-Day fundraiser emails were essential!

Photo 3

As for training, the 3-Day app was so great. It connected with my calendar, so I could see what I needed to do every day. It was fun and challenging! I got people to go with me on training walks. I took advantage of my environment and explored new paths. I listened to podcasts while I walked alone — thank you Being Here, Audible and Audiobooks. They were amazing company! I listened to all the Harry Potter books!”

After all that support and training, Lenore approached the weekend in Philadelphia with excitement. She found our Opening Ceremony inspiring, but she said she loved the walker stalkers and Crew support most of all.

“It was comforting and hilarious to share snacks and stories with them. The Youth Corps are also the best! Their cheering and chanting were terrific for matching my own enthusiasm. I was charged up all the way!”

Photo 2

As a Philadelphia native returning home for the walk, she also liked the variety in the route, and getting to see everything from “unique and artsy shopping areas to the great spans of green by the Schukyill River to the iconic Rocky Statue and the Liberty Bell” all in one weekend.

And then, after all those sights and steps, she came to the finish line.

“I felt proud and honored. Honored by the presence of all those who supported me personally in my journey that honors my body and my perseverance. Grateful for my body’s responding positively to my demands and also grateful to the bodies of those who can only dream of being able to walk 60 miles but have truly journeyed so much further in overcoming breast cancer.”

She was glad to honor those in her own life who had been affected by breast cancer, including her stepmom, Geri, her best friend’s mom, Rosie, and her first boyfriend’s sister, Crisse. It was their memory that kept her moving all weekend, and she even finished faster than she thought she would.

“I found myself speeding up as I approached the arch and could not and did not resist dancing across that finish line. I kept dancing and was joined by the emcee! It was a blast, our impromptu party! My friends’ and my husband’s smiles, applause and congratulations were elevating!”

Photo 4

She even ended up walking 4 more miles along the route to her car, cheering on those approaching the finish line as she went. She says she also showed off her medal proudly. 😊

So, after all that training, fundraising, walking, and yes, even a little dancing…will she be back in 2019? You bet!

“Oh, yes! I’ll be back! I plan to raise even more money! I think I’ll auction off some specific miles and take photos as proof! I might even promise to execute dares for extra pledges — like walk backwards for 1 or selfies with a man in pink or a pink girl doing a cartwheel… something cooler but, like those are my ideas for now.”

We have no doubt that Lenore will continue to make her 3-Day experience an extraordinary one.

If you want to join Lenore in 2019, the time to sign up is NOW! If you register at The3Day.org by 11:55 PM CST TONIGHT 12/6, you’ll automatically get 50% off your registration fee—no special codes required!

Come and walk with us.