We recently posted some wonderful images of our 3-Day community, taken last month at the 2013 San Francisco Bay Area 3-Day. Click here to check out the 3-Day Blog photo library.
Meet one of our amazing 3-Day multi-year participants, Sandra Chiesa. Sandra was the recipient of the 3-Day Milestone Award at the San Francisco Bay Area 3-Day in June. She will also be walking in the San Diego 3-Day in November. Her lifetime 3-Day achievements include walking in 12 events since 2003, and a combined 3-Day fundraising total of over $58,000. We caught up with Sandra and asked her to share her story.
How was your first 3-Day of 2013?
“We were a small event, but we had a lot of heart! I had a great time and tried to savor every moment. I had such bittersweet emotions at Closing, knowing it was the last 3-Day in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
What inspired you to take your first 3-Day journey?
“I had a few reasons. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor. Secondly, a co-worker had passed away. Her death – and being so close to my age – emphasized how fragile and short life can be. I decided I wanted to do something bold. Something out of my comfort zone to celebrate life. When I heard the ads for the 3-Day and I thought, “Now there’s something out of my comfort zone!” I was not an active person then, so the thought of walking 60 miles coupled with the idea of fundraising were very daunting. But I also saw it as a win-win because I knew the money I was raising would make a difference! I signed up, not knowing anyone, but by the end of my first 3-Day I had many new friends. It was a very empowering experience on so many levels, and I think that is partly why I keep coming back! I want to help make a difference and hope one day we will live in a world where no one ever dies from breast cancer.”
We talked to four different women – each veterans of the San Francisco Bay Area 3-Day – who shared their experience on this year’s event. Their special memories turned into a love letter to the 3-Day, and the Bay Area community that has supported this event for the past 12 years.
How many San Francisco 3-Days have you been on?
Nanette: “Two. 2012 as Youth Corps leader and 2013 as staff.”
Heather: “I have served on the San Francisco 3-Day Crew since 2004. I worked Camp Services, Pit Stop 4 and this year I worked Youth Corps.”
Betsy: “I have been on staff in San Francisco 4 times.”
Melissa: “All of them! One walking, one as crew and 9 as staff.”
What moments had the biggest impact on you over the weekend?
Nanette: “The Opening Ceremony had the biggest impact on me, as it had a different meaning now that [3-Day walker and coach] Bridget Spence is gone. It’s tough taking photographs with tears in your eyes.”
Betsy: “The Opening Ceremony was very emotional. So many Bridget memories were triggered. The energy was explosive. The participants were so engaged, it was magical.”
Heather: “This year, even though it was a small event, the energy was high, the walkers meant business, and the [Youth Corps] kids raised a bunch of money.”
Melissa: “Watching the 28 year-old young survivor, Jessica Olsen speak on Saturday night at the camp show, and our 81 year old 3-Day walker, George, who busted a move during the dance party!”