Walking for MeeMaw: Meet Jessa G. from the San Diego 3-Day

I think the thing I love most about the 3-Day is how much the entire event is like one big family reunion. Everyone is so open and easy to talk to. Everyone is there to support everyone else.”

When Jessa G. talks about the 3-Day, she is truly describing a family affair. Her mom, Heather, has been a part of the 3-Day in one way or another since it began in 2001. Heather, and now Jessa alongside her, walk in memory of their MeeMaw (Jessa’s grandmother, and Heather’s mom). MeeMaw lost her fight to breast cancer when Jessa was young, and since then Heather has been a part of the 3-Day family.

(Jessa and her mom)

A few years ago, Jessa also joined the Pink Bubble as a member of the Youth Corps!

“I had finally found a way that I too could join my mom in memory of my MeeMaw!”

Last year was the first year Jessa was old enough to walk the 3-Day…and walk she did! She and a family friend took on those sixty miles with smiles on their faces and determination in their hearts.

Jessa says, “Although I had already been in the background of the walk, helping make sure things went smoothly and happily for all the walkers, I didn’t know how truly challenging it is. Having that walking experience really gave me a new respect for my mom and all the people who walk the 3-Day year after year. Walking in my mom’s footsteps helped me so much. My mom even let me use the same fanny pack that she used in her first 3-Day, 16 years later.”

Jessa’s mom was there to watch her cross her first-ever 3-Day finish line, and they hope to expand their family’s presence in 2018. Both of Jessa’s younger sisters will be on Youth Corps, and her mom will be part of Lunch Crew. Jessa is hoping to make it back from college in time for the event as well, but no matter if she’s walking, or there in spirit, she will have the 3-Day in her heart.

“It’s so important to me to continue to be a part of the 3-Day in any way, because of the amazing work that I’ve seen through the 3-Day do, just over the past few years that I’ve been there. I’ve seen just how it brings people together and creates lifelong friendships of love and support. The pink bubble is something to love and miss when you aren’t there.”

This past year is still fresh in her mind , and she was more than happy to share tips for first-time walkers:

  • Train more on sidewalks and concrete than on trails!
  • She also warns against doing any form of activity before the event that could put yourself at risk for injury.
  • If you need some extra pep in your step, Jessa loves listening to pop artists like Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Little Mix, as well as musicals like Hamilton to keep herself motivated during those long training walks.
  • Need fundraising ideas? Jessa says to “ask literally everyone you know! People are more willing to help out than you would think; teachers, friends, doctors, family, everyone.”
  • She also recommends asking people to donate old furniture or clothes and having a garage sale where all the money goes towards breast cancer.

These tips come from an expert, too! Though Jessa has only walked the 3-Day once, she has grown up around a 3-Day veteran — her mom, Heather. Jessa says that her mom has been a life-long motivation, and the epitome of someone who is More Than Pink.

“She was the first one in my family to start doing the 3-Day, and she has consistently been a part of them for so many years! She’s talked with so many of the people on so many different events. I haven’t gone to a single 3-Day where I haven’t been approached by one person or another asking if I’m Heather’s daughter. Everyone I’ve talked to has had just the greatest things to say about how she has helped them through something in their lives, or just been there to talk with them even outside of the 3-Day.”

With role models like Heather and her MeeMaw, Jessa is going to keeping walking and working towards a world without breast cancer.

Recruit Your Friends for a 3-Day Slumber Party Before May 31

Who doesn’t love a slumber party? You can have a fun time with your pals, sleep under the stars, share stories and jokes and snacks and more. It’s the perfect way to get in some quality bonding time, and you can do all of that right on the 3-Day!

If you recruit two first-time walkers by May 31 to join you on the 3-Day, we’ll arrange for you to have a More Than Pink slumber party together on-event! This glamping experience comes complete with a large tent that sleeps up to four people, and has air mattresses, pillows and phone chargers.

But time is running out! There are only a few more days to earn a stay in one of our awesome 3-Day slumber party tents, and you won’t want to miss out. Don’t believe us?

This is what Kendall C., one of our 2017 slumber party tent users, had to say about her experience:

“The tent was SO much larger than we anticipated, and the air mattresses and pillows were such a treat to have! I also couldn’t believe there were chairs, which we loved having at the end of the day to relax in. We also would bring all our chairs together to hang out in the evening before bed. I also remember a welcome doormat, and a little table complete with a fake succulent! I mean, that is glamping in my book and I’ll take it any day! To top it all off, there was a cell phone charger we ALL got to use, even at the same time. We were so, so happy to have the Slumber Party tent and it completely made our camping experience perfect!”

You can take a sneak peek inside this year’s tents with Coach Marianne from San Diego, who camped out with some 3-Dayers to test out the amazing slumber party experience. They had a ball!

So, what are you waiting for? Visit The3Day.org/Refer to learn more about our 3-Day Slumber Party offer. Then, start asking your besties to join you for a truly one-of-a-kind sleepover.  Let’s go glamping!

Please note, this offer is not valid for the Philadelphia 3-Day, since there will be no tent camping on that event.

A Toast to the 3-Day from Haviland F., Your San Diego Toast Lady

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But behind all that excitement and fun is someone deeply dedicated to the 3-Day cause, who works tirelessly for a world without breast cancer. Havliand lost her aunt to breast cancer before she became involved in the 3-Day.

She was first recruited to volunteer by her friend, Kit L., and lost her voice the first year she cheered on 3-Dayers. After a few years of this cheerleading-style weekend, the two wanted to do something different. They wanted to toast all the amazing work the 3-Day was doing, but knew that alcohol wasn’t allowed on event. So, they grabbed slices of sourdough bread instead, and began their “toasting” tradition!

The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, she and Kit have become a staple in the Del Mar community as “The Toast Girls.”

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Haviland raves about Kit and the rest of her San Diego 3-Day community.

“I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the 3-Day event every year, and cheering on every single one of those walkers while wearing more pink than should be allowed in public. Plus, holding up slices of bread.  It’s my honor to do this for these amazing people who are trying to find a cure for breast cancer.   Truly, spending four days with my 3-Day family is something that makes my soul sing every year.”

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To learn more about her dedication to the 3-Day cause, we heard Haviland’s story in her own words…

What are some of your fondest memories of meeting with walkers while you cheer them on?

Holy cow where do I start?!  All the ones I’ve made and the ones I have yet to make. From that first year cheering in over 3000 walkers to the last few years as a toast girl.  I love that I can inspire people.  It’s the least I can do because truly they are the ones who inspire me to come back year after year.

What keeps you coming back year after year?

Simple: The 3-Day is my family.  […] It’s my privilege to cheer and support these fearless walkers on the route and at camp. I come back to remember my Aunt Joanne and honor her. I come because my heart calls me to do so. It makes me feel that I have power over something that can make you feel powerless.  I will always be a 3-Day “Toast Girl.”

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Why is it so important that we continue to support breast cancer charities?

It’s important to continue so that we can put a stop to families losing time with loved ones. Time is precious and we all deserve a full lifetime.

Who are other people you want to “toast” to in your life?

My beautiful children Taylor and Ian.  My amazing family.  My closest friends Jen, Melanie, Kit, Janet and a ton of others all these people have touched my life in a significant way. And of course, my amazing 3-Day people – those who I know and those who I still have yet to meet!

We toast to you, Haviland!

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