3-Day Superheroes

On this National Superhero Day, we wanted to recognize those in the Pink Bubble who continue to show their outstanding commitment, support and care as part of each 3-Day they participate in. We asked our 3-Day coaches and staff to highlight someone, whether walker or crew, who goes above and beyond the call to action. That is what being a 3-Day superhero is all about. 

Superhero Stephanie: 

Stephanie has a smile that is contagious. She continues to be one of our brightest lights in our 3-Day crew community, despite having one of the toughest and most challenging jobs: collecting ALL the trash out on the 3-Day Route. Stephanie embraces her role with grace, enthusiasm and determination. She is one of the last crew members to arrive back to camp each night and her job isn’t finished when she arrives home. She has to unload all the trash and recycling and transfer pounds and pounds of bags into the dumpsters. You will never see Stephanie without a smile on her face.  

What inspires you to go above and beyond for this cause? 

I don’t have any family that has been affected by breast cancer, but I know of many who either are fighting or who have caught their wings. In 2006, I was just looking for a way to up my volunteerism and the 3-Day had been in Kansas City the year before, so I signed up. Best registration EVER!!! Boston 2022 will be my 26th 3-Day, and this does not count the few Avon events nor the one-day Race for the Cure events held in KC over the years. I also tend to return to what I love and that’s route clean-up. There’s something about tossing trash bags, sometimes known as ‘juicers’ by the end of the day. I enjoy it! During the process of crewing, I’ve met many and have heard countless stories of the why’s and who’s and whatnot. I go above and beyond because there is another who cannot and the best reason I can really give is “why not?” 

Superhero Cliff: 

Many 3-Day veterans know this: Cliff and his team, “Cliff’s Crew,” model the heart and soul of the 3-Day in every way. Cliff leads with love and is as humble and as strong as anyone you’ll ever meet. Through all of life’s challenges, Cliff remains steady — a shoulder to lean on, a reassuring voice, a rock. Cliff, you are a Superhero in every sense. It is one of life’s great honors to know you and call you a friend. 

What inspires you to go above and beyond? 

Oh, so many things. On my first walk it was the walkers that came in on Day 3 with their shoes cut out by medical to relieve the pressure on their feet, or those that came in with ice bags taped to their legs as they limped across the finish line; never giving up. Hugging them in and crying with them in their pain as well as their joy. 

The longer I continued to walk, the more survivors I met, both men and women. Those who were walking for family and friends that had passed. 

Then I was inspired by my personal heroes of the 3 Day that have mentored me and taught me how to lead. People like Lee & Kathy Giller, Kathy D. of The Cup Crusaders, Larry R. and so many others. 

Lastly, the new walkers that contact me asking if they can do this and then later cheering them in on Day 3 when they realize what they’ve done and how they made a difference. 

What is your connection to breast cancer? 

It started with the loss of my dear friend Betty Lou, but over all these years it has become those walkers who were survivors and now we have lost them. In the Remembrance Tent, I have quite a few friends and teammates who I am honored to have walked with. My team members are my family and they always will be. 

As the saying goes, “not all superheroes wear capes.” Some wear pink. Thank you to all of you who show insurmountable support and commitment to finding the cures to breast cancer! Stay tuned for our future 3-Day Superhero blogs.

Love Letter to the 3-Day

Why do we participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ®? Because we have an unfortunate connection that brings us together: we have been touched somehow by breast cancer. The silver lining is that out of that pain and struggle has arisen the community that is the Pink Bubble. Inside this Pink Bubble we support each other, we appreciate each other, and we love each other. This Valentine’s Day, we asked members of the Pink Bubble to write their own love letters to the Komen 3-Day. 

Every step together is an adventure, a journey towards the future of all who are fighting, will fight and have lost their fight against breast cancer. We walk together in love and hope for the future where this journey is no longer needed. —Shelly L. 

Dear 3-Day, we started dating in 2010 and I’ve never looked back on that decision! This year I’ll be doing my 21st 3-Day. Not only have we done some amazing things together in the fight against breast cancer, I’ve made so many lifelong friends along the way! My teams, Men With Heart and Friends With Heart have been incredible! Not to mention my two “Walk Wives” Cheryl and Jenn, who I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. My commitment to the 3-Day has certainly enriched my life more than I could have imagined when I started! Much Love, Frank M. 

Dear 3-Day, Thank you. You have lit a passion in me and inspired me to do more than I ever thought possible for not only a cause that has touched my family, friends and community, but for me personally as well. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”—Rikki Rogers. Love always and forever, Theresa E., 22-year cancer survivor. 

The 3-Day has given me the strength to stand up for others, see beyond my own problems and realize that we are stronger when we are joined together. I am more proud of myself when training and fundraising for the 3-Day than I am at any other time. —Liz P. 

Dear 3-Day, I never dreamed my love for you would grow into what it is today. Thank you for all you have brought to my life. When I feel like giving up, your love keeps me going. I look forward every day to our next time together. —Lia L. 

Dear 3-Day, thank you for giving me back a purpose to my life when I thought I lost all meaning. —Jennifer R. 

Dear 3-Day, they said I was crazy, we would never last. They didn’t believe me when I said you completed me. What do they know? —Sally P. 

To Susan G. Komen, with love:  

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received was to see that I was not alone in my grief, and that in my grief, I could make a difference. It is often said “we don’t remember days; we remember moments.” So it goes that I will always remember the love. I remember crying during the Opening Ceremony. An unexpected release of the sorrow I had held tight to when a stranger reached out to hold my hand in comfort and in unity, as so many around me remembered loved ones lost too soon or prayed for those still fighting for their lives. Tears dried, and courage was born. I won’t ever forget all the survivors fiercely determined to make the journey to make a difference, to not stop fighting, to never give up. 

Giving up is never an option. I will always remember the crew and their themed pit stops, lifting the spirits of the weary. Their goal is that all walkers’ needs are attended to, as they quenched our thirst and fed our bellies. They tended to our blisters and aching muscles, and still found the time and energy to entertain, bring smiles and laughter; a family outside of family. I could never forget all those who took care that we were safe. Police on bicycles slowing down to chat, checking in to see if we were okay. The kind and creative motorcyclists, embellishing their cycles with teddy bears, bras or flamingos. The safety crews who assured street crossings were as entertaining as they were trouble-free. The sweep vans artistically decked out with optimism that we can make it, “Go Walkers Go,” but there for us just in case we needed them.  

I still clearly remember the amazing support from communities big and small, offering home-baked goods at every corner. Families, cheerleaders and girl scouts clapping and shouting words of encouragement. There were dogs dressed in pink skirts, boys and grown men were wearing bras, pink wigs and fishnet stockings. There were signs that made us laugh, signs that made us reflect, and so many signs that said, “Thank you for walking!” There was a big guy in thigh-high white boots with six-inch heels, standing there handing out hugs and high fives. And I’ll never forget the small gray-haired woman standing on the sidewalk in front of her house, offering walkers to use her bathroom if they were tired of using porta-potties!  

I will most certainly never forget walking in on the last day of my first 3-Day as the “Tunnel of Love” loomed large in front of me: a greeting of hundreds of walkers standing shoulder to shoulder on both sides of the walkway, their hands held high in the air, clapping and cheering, welcoming us back as the music soared and my emotions shattered. Their congratulations and their thank yous, their screaming, “YOU DID IT!! WOOHOO WALKERS! WAY TO GO!” A hero’s welcome I will never forget, a moment I pay forward still.  

Mostly, I will always remember the love and the extraordinary people I met from all walks of life going through different but similar trials, losses and struggles. I remember the kindred spirit that arose from so many who know that we can’t quit, that we must keep fighting because every life matters and quitting is not an option. Mostly, I will always remember the love. Thank you, Susan G. Komen, for allowing me to see that I was not alone in my grief, for allowing me to be surrounded by so many good people filled with an abundance of love and kindness and a common cause to rid the world of breast cancer. Because of you, I will always remember the love. —Maureen W. 

The  3-Day® brings us together in so many ways with so much love in every step of the 60 miles. If you could write a love letter to the 3-Day, what would you say? Let us know in the comments. 

Congratulations to the 2021 3-Day Nation Top Fundraisers!

Our incredible community came together for the first-ever ever Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Nation, connecting with one another online and at live Pop-Ups across the country. During the online festivities of 3-Day Nation, we celebrated our Top Fundraisers. Please join us in congratulating all of our 2021 3-Day Nation Top Fundraisers!

Our Top Crew Fundraiser is Julia W., who raised nearly $3,200 for 3-Day Nation and has raised $9,575 in her lifetime. 3-Day Nation was Julia’s sixth time walking. Julia’s favorite pastime is photo coaching and journaling her photos. 

Our Top Youth Corps Fundraiser is Grace R., who raised nearly $1,750 for 3-Day Nation. Grace has raised $3,183 in her lifetime across the three 3-Day events she has participated in. In her free time, Grace is currently learning how to knit from her grandmother!

Our Rookie of the Year is Debbie R., who raised nearly $10,800 as a new walker. 3-Day Nation was her first event as a part of the Pink Bubble. Debbie said, “We asked folks to join us on the last leg of our journey and held a cocktail and cookout celebration in our community. Seventy-five people came out!” 

Our Top Individual Fundraiser is Peggy F., who raised nearly $35,000. She has raised $49,570 in her lifetime. 3-Day Nation was the second 3-Day event that Peggy has walked. Peggy can’t wait to get back onto the 3-Day so she can eat those addictive peanut butter and jelly graham cracker bars! 

Our Small But Mighty Team (the team with 3-10 members that raised the most money) is Wild Women Walking for a Cure. They raised nearly $35,000 between their eight team members for 3-Day Nation and have participated in 3-Day events since 1998 across multiple cities. Wild Women Walking for a Cure have raised an amazing $1,110,456 as a team over their lifetime. They have had more than 150 women, men, and children ranging in age from 18 to 78 years old along with a service dog as part of the Wild Women Walking team over 20+ years. Their team captain Leslie C. said, “Every WWW has headgear we wear for every walk. Each of us make our own, have our own personal twist to them, and get together the Thursday night before Day 1 with all of our crafts and glue guns to add or give them facelifts.” 

Our Top Fundraising Team for 2021 3-Day Nation is STEPS, who raised nearly $77,000. They have been a team for 13 years, walked in 27 3-Day events, and have raised a staggering total of $1,191,571. Their team captains Sheryl C. and Dana B. said, “We dedicate every training walk to someone who has been affected by breast cancer so that every step has a purpose and a name.” Team STEPS stands for Screening, Treatment, and Education Programs. 

Thank you to these amazing fundraisers and all of the 2021 3-Day Nation walkers and crew members!