The Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony to kick off our final 3-Day of the year. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Kathy Giller – My Husband

For the past 12 years, the 3-Day has been our army of love and hope. We have walked literally thousands of miles with many of you, to bring us closer to a world without breast cancer. This is my 18th walk and usually, I’m standing out there with all of you.  My husband, Lee, was the one who would be on this stage. I would look up at him so proudly as he humbly served as the unofficial 3-Day face of male breast cancer. Lee would share his story with dozens of people along the route, reminding us that breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease. My name is Kathy and instead of walking hand-in-hand with Lee, I will be carrying him in my heart and in my memory. Lee’s life was so much More Than Pink.

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Greg Piers – My Family 

I walk my 5th 3-Day in honor of my family: my grandmother, aunt and cousin… all ambushed by breast cancer. I walk in honor of my family: my wife, daughters and granddaughter… who I hope never have to fight this battle. I walk in honor of you all, my 3-Day family, as we all have similar stories and share one common goal: to put an end to breast cancer. I’m Greg and I am More Than Pink.

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Deborah Jones – My Mother

I am from Gainesville, Florida, I walk with Cliff’s Crew and this is my 6th walk, the 2nd in San Diego. I am walking in memory of my mother, Josephine Jones, who died from breast cancer at the age of 40 when I was still a teenager in 11th grade. I also lost my dear sister to breast cancer twenty-nine years ago; she was only 37. Both gone too soon! I’m Deborah and I am More Than Pink.

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Chris Laws – My Sister
I walk this, my second 3-Day, for my sister, Jennifer. I’ve found this verse from Proverbs best describes her: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Jennifer’s fight ended October 4th, 2015, but her courageous heart and infectious laugh resonates with all those who met her. I’m Jennifer’s brother Chris, I walk in her memory, and I am More Than Pink.

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Sarah Hillstead – Myself

I crew because I never want anyone to go through what I have gone through since being diagnosed in 2002. I have seen some dear friends lose their battles with this disease and I never want anyone to get the diagnosis of breast cancer. I also crew to celebrate with my friends who have beaten this nasty disease. I crew because I never want to have to look my precious niece and nephew in the face and tell them another family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m Sarah and I am More Than Pink.

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Terry Sue Hegburg – My Friend

I walk for my best friend Rae Jobson, who spoke bravely on this stage just one year ago about her fight against this horrible disease. Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Rae on September 29th. Although she will not be physically walking beside us this year, we know she will be with us in spirit. We promised Rae to continue the fight until there is a world without Breast Cancer.  I’m Terry and I am More Than Pink.

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Sally Dunbar – Ceremony Host

It has been 12 years since I got my diagnosis. I am here today because of the results of the research from the women before me, who were also diagnosed―research funded in part by Susan G. Komen.

So I walk for myself. I walk in memory of my Aunt Margaret, and my daughter’s mother-in-law, Char Jamieson. I walk in memory of our teammate Wendy Nesbitt, who lost her battle three months after the 2015 San Diego walk. And I walk for my daughters, your daughters, and for all of our granddaughters.

I’m Sally, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 San Diego 3-Day!

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San Diego Coaches’ Favorite Memories

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We’re just one day away from our final 3-Day of 2017 and our San Diego coaches are bursting at the seams with excitement! They can’t wait to welcome all the participants to the West Coast for three days of fun, love and a big pink bubble of happiness. Before we begin our sixty-mile journey with them, they’re taking a look back at 3-Days of the past, and giving you their must-visit spots in San Diego!

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What are your favorite memories of the 3-Days past?

Coach Marianne: The time that I spend with my team training and on-event are some of my best memories. There is so much time to talk and really get to know each other as we spend hours walking. This opportunity is hard to find in our busy lives.

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Coach Amy: Caboosing the Kansas City 3-Day. My bike was way too big, and I had no idea how to operate my Nextel. Not a great combination. However, those technical difficulties quickly faded when I came upon 2 little girls, probably around 4 years old, on the side of the path holding a sign saying, “Mommy we miss you, please come back”.

As the tears welled up, I was dumbfounded at the reality of this plea. We do not realize how precious life is until it is too late. We tend to take each day for granted, not understanding what tomorrow may bring. This is why we walk. And this is why I feel so grateful to do what I do. Every. Single. Day.

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What are you looking forward to most for this year’s walk?

Coach Amy: Loving up the San Diego 3-Day crew community. For the past two years I have been supporting the Twin Cities 3-Day and I am so excited to be back in San Diego, and have the opportunity to see all the smiling faces of my sweet crew members who I have missed working alongside.

Coach Staci: Meeting all the people I’ve been emailing with and speaking with on the phone!

Coach Marianne: I’m thrilled to be experiencing the walk from a different perspective this year as a coach. I’m excited to interact with all the people I’ve been talking to and planning with the past few months. My appreciation for the walk and the many people involved has grown immensely as I’ve seen firsthand just how hard everyone involved works and how committed our entire 3-Day community is.

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What are your favorite spots on the route?

Coach Staci: The top of Torrey Pines hill and the Day 1 lunch spot – with surfers crossing the path while walkers are walking by.

Coach Marianne: I love the approach to La Jolla Cove and listening to all our visiting walkers comment on how spectacularly beautiful it is. This gives me a renewed appreciation for where I live. My very first-time snorkeling in the ocean was at La Jolla Cove when I was a teenager so it brings back sweet memories. I also love to walk through the residential neighborhoods and look at the beautiful homes. You notice so much more walking than you do driving, it’s a real treat.

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Coach Amy: The view from the top of Torrey Pines! Watching the waves crash along sunset cliffs. And of course, morning sunrise at camp. I know that is not the route, but it is spectacular to see the sun rise above the bay!

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What are your favorite spots in San Diego to eat and play?

Coach Amy: Lofty Coffee for my favorite almond milk latte. The. Best.

The Fish Shop for a yummy fish taco. Favorite beach is Table Tops in Solana Beach or Cardiff beach. I relish any time I can escape to the Belly Up for live music!

Coach Marianne: I love the ocean so I find that I gravitate there when I go out to play. A perfect San Diego day may be as simple as a day spent at the beach swimming in the ocean and sunning. We also have so many new brew pubs in the area that I’ve been methodically working my way through them. My favorite go-to place to meet up with a group is Bagby’s in Oceanside because they have so much creative indoor and outdoor space for a group as well as fantastic food and drinks.

What are you most excited about for the 2017 San Diego 3-Day? Tell us in the comments!

Meet Your San Diego 3-Day Coaches

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Coach Marianne and friends

If you’ve been following along with your San Diego 3-Day coaches on social media, you already know they’re a pretty fun group (who know how to work it for Facebook Live)! But there’s so much more than a cute profile picture to Coaches Marianne Masterson, Amy Schwager and Staci Roos! Before our California 3-Dayers arrive at our final Opening Ceremony on Friday, here are some things you need to know about your coaches.

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Coach Amy at right

They Are More Than Pink

Each of the coaches has a deep and long-standing connection to the 3-Day. Staci and Amy both began walking in 2002, Staci in honor of her mother-in-law, who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that year.

After her first walk, Amy was hooked.

“After 60 long miles and a few blisters, I can truly say it was an unforgettable journey that I will cherish forever. It was after that experience that I knew I had to be involved in this event any way I could.”

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Coach Marianne at left

Marianne also has a very personal connection to the cause.

“All six of my sisters have had breast cancer, every one of them.  I lost my sister, Sheila, four years ago to this disease; two of my sisters have had reoccurrences. All of them continue to live with the fear of reoccurrence.

When my sisters’ breast cancer diagnoses began materializing, one after the other, I felt helpless against this disease.  I worried about the toll it would take on our family.  I feared the impact it would have on our children and whether our daughters would also carry this burden, as my sisters have.  So, I laced up my shoes and began walking towards a cure!”

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Coach Staci

They are each other’s cheerleaders

Staci says her fellow coaches are “inspiring to a T. They work tirelessly in pursuit of an incredible experience for all of our amazing participants; walkers, crew and volunteers alike.”

Amy describes Staci as someone who “always always always finding the time to support our participants to make sure they are successful with their fundraising and training, so they ultimately end up having the opportunity to experience the magic of the 3-Day.”

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Coach Amy at right

When asked about Coach Marianne, Amy says, “Marianne is always ready for whatever challenge is presented to her. She has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly. Her enthusiasm for the 3-Day is contagious and she has sprinkled the San Diego community with her love all season long.”

Marianne rounds out the group, speaking glowingly of her teammates.

“I knew Amy and Staci were amazing already, but now that I work so closely with them, I absolutely worship them!  Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge about the walk, they are incredibly dedicated. I love Amy with her trucker hats and sweet smile, and Staci with her easy confidence, and that she’s a dog lover!”

Talk about sharing the love!

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Coach Amy

They have a sweet tooth

Coach Amy’s favorite food is “any flavor” of cupcakes!

Marianne loves ice cream almost as much as she loves spending time at the ocean with family, and her favorite flavors “will have nuts and chewy chunky goodness.”

When we asked Coach Staci for a food, she asked “Is candy corn considered food…?”

So, if you see them on the route, feel free to share a sugary snack!

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Coach Marianne and family

You want them in your book club!

Recommendations from the coaches for books to read this winter are…

  • “I Know This Much is True” and “She’s Come Undone” from author Wally Lamb are favorites of Coach Marianne
  • “Tell the Wolves I am Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt was “Just. So. Good.” according to Coach Amy, although she is a dedicated reader whenever she can find the time, so it was hard for her to pick just one option!
  • Coach Staci is a huge fan of Isabelle Allende (“The House of the Spirits” is a favorite) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She’s also been known to binge-read from Oprah’s book list.
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Coach Staci

Learn more about the coaches, and ask them for more book recommendations, on their Facebook page! Or, ask them when you see them this weekend!