Meet Our 2017 Seven-City Walkers

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Our 2017 3-Day events are all complete, and what an amazing year it was! Our 6,600 walkers and crew raised an impressive $14.3 million towards Komen’s Bold Goal! Throughout our seven events, and many miles, there were some familiar faces in each city. We had eight seven-city walkers who were with us on every event, showing all of us just how More Than Pink they are. We are giving those walkers some 3-Day love, and sharing their stories of why they walk.

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Marilyn at far right with other Seven Cities Walkers (from left) Shelby, Kelly and Jim

You might have seen Marilyn signature pink flower crown throughout this year’s 3-Days. Why does she walk? Let’s hear it from her.

“I started this journey in 2000 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything went right — my doctor suspected something amiss; I got a mammogram; it was suspicious; I was scheduled immediately for biopsy; the result was cancer; I had a lumpectomy and then radiation and here I am 17 years later — a thriving survivor! Everything went right for me and that is why I walk.

I am compelled to raise money for breast cancer research as there are so many who did not — nor will not — have my experience. So many die. So many live with Stage 4 and never know when their next chemo will be their last. As a very healthy 71-year-old woman, I find it my duty to be of service in this manner. I was given a great healthy life — I want what I have for all! My first walk was in 2011 in Philadelphia and have walked nine walks thus far and raised over $25,000 — it just seems like a very natural thing to have walked all seven walks this year to bring the vision of hope to as many as I can.”

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Ellen has been an avid supporter of Susan G. Komen for over a decade! This year she was proud to walk once again.

“I walk with the Susan G. Komen family because I know people that have been diagnosed fought and won; fought and lost; that continue to fight and live with metastatic breast cancer. I walk with the Komen family because I know families who have had the financial burden of treatment lifted through monetary help from Susan G. Komen, for women who were able to receive a free mammogram because of Komen monies. Susan G. Komen has been in the forefront on educating the general public both in the US and internationally. The funds we raise go to supporting Komen’s efforts to fund research, help those going through breast cancer treatments, fund mammograms, and raise awareness and educate. And that research will bring cures.”

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Jeryl was a sunshiny addition to every mile she walked on the 3-Day! Sixty miles a weekend, in time for her 60th birthday!

“2017 marks my sixth-year walking! This month, I turn 60 and in celebration I took on the challenge of walking all seven cities! What better way to celebrate than walking 60 miles seven times in honor of fighters and survivors and in memory of the angels that this disease has taken way too soon. The seven cities will be my 9th-16th Susan G. Komen 3-Day events.”

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June at left with fellow Seven City Walker, Kelly

Jeryl walked many of her miles alongside her new friend, June. June walks in memory of her family member, and for all the names she lists on her 3-Day T-shirts.

“I believe in the 3-Day walk and all that it stands for. I have made some amazing memories, I have met new and wonderful friends and with every walk I do, I am contributing to a great cause.

I started walking with my grandchildren’s other grandmother’s name on a t-shirt, In Memory of Kaye Duncan. To date, I feature as many as 40 names on my shirt. I add names to my t-shirt every year and this year, I decided I wanted to do more. So, I participated in all seven cities!

The experience of walking in the 3-Day is one that I wholeheartedly enjoy. The event is inspiring, uplifting and spreads a lot of hope to all the families who have ever been effected by this awful disease.”

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Two other friends who walked together this year were Kelly and Shelby; the birthday girls! Kelly explained why they both walked this year.

“This year I celebrated a milestone birthday. I decided to do something BIG, not for myself, but for a cause I truly believe in. So, I signed up to walk all seven cities!

In 2003, I walked my first 3-Day event in Los Angeles. I did it as a personal challenge. I didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I trained, (not well enough), I fundraised, and I kissed my family goodbye for the weekend. At the time, I had no idea how my life would be affected by my experiences that weekend. I cried. I laughed. I met some amazing people. I became part of the 3-Day family, and I was hooked! […]

I can now list many family, friends and co-workers who are breast cancer survivors and some who were warriors. I walk for them. I walk for their loved ones. I walk for my loved ones. I walk because I can.”

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Shelby echoes those statements.

“This year I turn 40, so I’m celebrating my 40th birthday by doing something bigger than me. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and fundraising beyond what I thought possible to help someone else and see an end to breast cancer.

I am lucky to be sharing this experience with my friend Kelly, who is also celebrating a milestone birthday, this year we are — 40 & 50 Walking 60!”

Karen Kay caught the 3-Day bug back in 2003, and since then she has walked dozens of times, including being a 5-time 7-City Walker! She is proud of every step.

“In the past 13 years, I have walked in 54 walks. This year, I walked in all seven cities again (this will be my fifth year in a row walking in all seven cities). To walk 420 miles seems like the least I can do when so many others aren’t able to walk at all. I want to walk — to make a bold statement and presence — to put an end to breast cancer forever and to support those who are fighting this disease and those who have lost loved ones to this disease.”

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Our only male seven-city walker is Jim Hillman, who many walkers recognize on every event for his big smile, welcoming hugs, and all his picture-taking! He has walked 56 times and raised more than $150,000 for the 3-Day so far!

“Why do I walk? I believe the answer is clear. I walk because I want to see an end to breast cancer, and the devastation it causes. I walk because I don’t want my wife, my daughter, my sister, my nieces, my family and friends to deal with it… ever! To borrow from Susan G. Komen: ‘We walk because we must. We walk for the cure!’

Someday we will make one final walk, a walk of celebration that breast cancer has been defeated, a cure has been found. We will all walk together, with our sign saying, We walked for a cure! The cure has been found! I look forward to that day of celebration, the day breast cancer becomes past tense.”

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Christa Cannon also signed up to be one of our seven-city walkers this year, but sadly lost her battle to breast cancer before she could walk. We carried her in hearts, and with Smokey T Bear, through all our 2017 events. In addition, all our seven-cities walkers wore Christa’s name on their credentials on our final walk in San Diego this year. They walked in her honor.

When she signed up in early 2017, Christa has this to say about her 3-Day journey.

“I began my journey with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Chicago, August 2013. I was walking as a breast cancer survivor that year after having been diagnosed in June. I carry a banner with me each day that I walk with the name of loved ones lost to breast cancer.

Shortly after that Chicago 3-Day I was diagnosed with breast cancer again. It was the last thing I would have ever expected to hear from my doctor. More surgery, more chemotherapy and more blood transfusions followed. In early 2014 I was declared cancer free and I decided to walk in two 3-Days that year.

The cancer free feeling didn’t last long as I was again diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2014. Triple negative breast cancer is what I have and there is no known cure at this time. I am committed to finding a cure for breast cancer and I refuse to let this disease win.”

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Thank you to all our walkers, including this amazing group, for a phenomenal year. We can’t wait to have you all back in 2018 and for those of you who walk once or twice or more, we are a family and can’t wait to see you out there again next year! Register today!

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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Meet 3-Dayer and Survivor Diana Reid

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We are constantly honored and in awe of the strength and passion we see from all our 3-Day participants. We always endeavor to provide special support and love to our community of survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer. They are the strength that gives walkers extra motivation, and keep us inspired all year long to continue working towards Komen’s Bold Goal.

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One such survivor is Diana Reid, who has walked 11 3-Day events in Atlanta, many of them side-by-side with her family.

She began walking in 2007 after being diagnosed the year prior with Stage 3 Triple Negative breast cancer. Her daughter walked with her then, and they were joined in 2009 by Diana’s sister, who had received her own breast cancer diagnosis that year. By 2015, Diana’s daughter-in-law had also joined the 3-Day Medical Crew, and Diana’s younger sister had crewed the Atlanta 3-Day as well.

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She says, “The support we get at the 3-Day is incredible! Not only by the crew and staff, but by the community as well. It makes you feel like you are doing something important. Because so many of my family members have been affected by breast cancer I feel a great need to try and contribute any way I can to find a cure.”

The 3-Day weekend is truly a family affair for Diana. That is because so much of her family has been touched by breast cancer, and benefited from Komen-supported research and grants.

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In January of this year, Diana got the call telling her that there was a lesser-known rad51c gene mutation that has been linked to ovarian and breast cancer, and that she had this mutation. She later discovered that her father, daughter and younger sister all also had the mutation.

Since then, she has undergone a complete hysterectomy and a double mastectomy. Her daughter also had double mastectomy as a preventative measure.

“I have always believed that the funds raised by the 3-Day for research are important, but this year that has really hit home for me and my family. Not only has research enabled me to cut my chances of a re-occurrence by 99% but it has also enabled my daughter to cut her chances of a diagnosis.”

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That’s why they are going to keep creating memories together as they continue to walk in what Diana calls an “overwhelming and incredibly fun” weekend. They are all already excited for 2018 and to return to “the excitement on the faces of the staff, walkers and crew from the moment it starts until the moment it ends.”

Most importantly, they are never going to give up.

Diana promises, “We will all continue to participate in the 3-Day as long as we are able or until a cure is found.”

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